October 5, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen
The international Oktoberfest is well-known for it's "beer and bratwurst tradition," but the Mayor of Rexburg is gearing up for a family-friendly version of the event, packed to the brim with root beer and french fries.
Mayor Jerry Merrill says the city will be hosting "Oktuberfest," a play on words highlighting the role of the potato harvest by emphasizing the "tuber" in October.
"We call it Oktuberfest because it's based on the kind of celebrating the harvest of the potatoes, now that's a big deal in this area," Jerry Merrill, the mayor Rexburg, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "Of course, the potato is the most famous tuber here in Idaho and so we've patterned it after the Oktoberfest of other countries, but we're using root beer and french fries, mostly, to celebrate."
Free root beer will be provided by The Root Beer Store in Sandpoint, Idaho and businesses in the area have been encouraged to bring their best french fries for the sampling, as participants try their hand at a game or two.
"We'll have some games, like potato sack races and maybe potato chucking and different kinds of things related to the farm type atmosphere," Merrill said. "A little bit later...maybe some live music and bands and things for people who want to stay later."
While the event celebrates the harvest season and the agricultural traditions native to Idaho, Merrill says the event is also a great opportunity to bring the community together.
"We're just trying to encourage events to bring people together, the college students, the local people and just have different events that bring people together and have a good time," Merrill said.
The event is slated for October 20, starting at 4 PM until 8 PM. Full event details are available here.
You can listen to the full interview below.