It’s Oktoberfest time at Emu Park

GET your yodelling voice warmed up, your silly hat on and have your beer stein in hand.

It is a silver anniversary and a break from tradition as Emu Park Lions hold their annual Oktoberfest in Bell Park today.

For 25 years the Lions have been planning the event, traditionally held in November, to ensure they can book their main attraction, The Kalendar Band, with Heidi the Yodeller.

Emu Park Lions Club president Bill Moore said they set the date for whenever the band was available.

“They are irreplaceable, that band,” Bill said.

“They provide a lot of the atmosphere.”

So this year it was just coincidental it could be held in October.

Bill said the founder of the Emu Park Oktoberfest, Wolfgang Beilhar, sadly passed away this year, so they were honoring his memory by putting his name on the commemorative steins that were available for purchase.

His wife Brigitte will officially open the event.

Over 30 volunteers were hard at work yesterday setting up the site ready for the day.

“It is starting to look really good.”

Bill said they were proud to have raised half a million dollars in the 25 years they have been running the event.

As part of the festivities, The Kalendar Band will perform a range of musical items from top hits to beautiful German ballads to raunchy German beer-drinking songs, with as much knee slapping, toe tapping, slap dancing, hat dancing and chicken dancing as you could want.

Patrons will also enjoy traditional knackwurst, bratwurst, leberkaese, sauerkraut, kartoffelpuffers, apple strudel and the selection of beers for those with a thirst or there is good old Aussie fare if preferred.

Patrons are advised to organise their transport to avoid drinking and driving.

Youngs Buses will provide their normal transport plus a late night run (10.30pm) from Emu Park to Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

Entry is from 11am, with entertainment running from noon until 10pm.

Tickets, available at the gate, are $10.

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