Preparations for 2018 Oktoberfest at German American Friendship Society of Pinellas County (or German Club Pinellas Park for short) started at the beginning of August. Getting everything ready keeps more than a handful people very busy. After all, this is our biggest event of the year. And, the most important fundraiser.
One of the many challenges is getting enough volunteers to run the event. However, the response of the members turned out to be good beyond expectations! I'd say there is a good reason to call ourselves a Friendship Society.
Ads in Papers and Online
We place ads for the event in newspapers and online - and on flyers, too.
Break out your lederhosen, dirndls and beer steins. Oktoberfest brings out the German in all of us with plenty of beer, bratwurst and the sound of oompah ringing through the air. Here are some of the major Oktoberfest celebrations and activities in the area.
"Tampa Bay's most authentic Oktoberfest" by the German American Society of Pinellas features live German oompah music, keg tappings, Gulf Coast Enzianer Schuhplattler Verein Folk Dancers, a variety of imported beers, homemade cuisine and German vendors. $8, 12 and younger free. German American Society of Pinellas County, 8098 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 238-8201. 5 p.m. Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7 and 13-14. Source
Tampa Bay's Most Authentic German Oktoberfest
We advertise our event as The Most Authentic German Oktoberfest. The reason being, we've actually been voted as the best in authenticity - including the foods and beers. Most of our foods are prepared on site from scratch, including our famous Apfel Strudel (apple strudel). Furthermore, we also offer several imported German beers, including the official beer of Munich Oktoberfest, called Oktoberfest Spaten.
First 2018 Oktoberfest Meeting
However, recruiting volunteers and delegating tasks and responsibilities started with the first 2018 Oktoberfest meeting on August . The attendance was good and we were able to decide and vote on some changes and approve some extra advertising costs. In short, the meeting was productive and efficient.
On a whim I signed up for coordinating the volunteer staff during the event - and first signing them up. All along I had a clear goal. I wanted to find enough people to volunteer so we could keep the paid staff down to the minimum. I only find that out later but our last year's profit was significantly lower because of the high expense for paid helpers.
And the reason I wanted to do the job was something that happened a few years back, when Joe McKinley was in charge of the event. His wife Christa was in charge of the volunteers that year and I was, as usually, selling the cakes.
As it happens, one day there was a problem with who is doing what - and where. I talked to Christa and she solved the issue quickly and efficiently. I was very impressed with her response and wanted to do the same this year: Taking good care of the volunteers and if at all possible, give everyone the job they prefer.
At this point I'm not sure how successful I was in my pursuit. But I know all the volunteers performed beyond expectations. Even more so, I made a handful of workers happy by moving them to a different task. For sure something that makes my heart sing!