HAYS, KS -- Oktoberfest will be celebrated in Ellis County on Friday, Oct. 11, followed by the Fort Hays State University Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Representatives of the Volga German Society, Fort Hays State University and the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce announced the official date for Oktoberfest after meeting Monday to begin planning for the 2002 edition of the popular community event.
The first Oktoberfest in Hays was started by chamber President Doug Kingsley and chamber Executive Director Jack Wilhm in 1973 as a companion event with the university's Homecoming, and the Volga German Society took over sponsorship a short while later. The Oktoberfest/Homecoming weekend will have special significance this year because Fort Hays State University is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2002.
The Volga German Society is the official sponsoring agency for Oktoberfest, with the support and cooperation of the university and the chamber. Francis Schippers, who has spearheaded the event for many years, will again serve as chair of Oktoberfest.
The opening ceremony for the 2002 Oktoberfest will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, with booth hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site will again be the area south of the dike in Frontier Park.
Representatives of the Volga German Society said they were planning to make some changes so that Oktoberfest will be even more "family-friendly " this year. Further details about the 2002 Oktoberfest will be announced later.