Oktoberfest spills cheer on Old World revelers | NevadaAppeal.com

Oktoberfest spills cheer on Old World revelers

Linda King, aka The Chicken, dances with Ethan Devine, 6, from left, Brianna Vandenhazel, 7, and her brother Nikolaas, 2, and their mother at the Oktoberfest celebration at Mills Park's Pony Express Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

It’s not often that the public library encourages you to drink beer, dance with a giant chicken, and stuff your face with platefuls of greasy meat – all to the beat of a loud, live band.

But hundreds turned out Saturday to the Carson City Library Foundation’s sixth annual Oktoberfest fund-raiser at the Pony Express Pavilion to do just that.

After exchanging their greenbacks for special yellow “Fritz” dollars, partiers dressed in full Lederhosen and green Tyrolean hats with white feathers raised their steins of Beck’s and Heifeweizen and danced to the toe-tapping sounds of party-polka band The Rhine River Stompers, a six-piece that’s not afraid to toss in a tuba solo when the mood strikes them.

“We had a couple of requests for Dixieland songs,” said Stompers co-leader Bill Montague, who says that one of the secrets to being in a successful Bavarian music band is to stay in character. “We try to create an authentic atmosphere,” he said while the band took five.

The sizzle of fresh bratwurst on the grill was too tempting for most, especially when backed up by the full 12-gallons of barrel-cured sauerkraut.

Pat Glick, chairwoman of the Carson City Library Foundation, was strolling around seeing that the fund-raiser went smoothly.

“The current library is way too small,” she said. “We’re averaging more than 2,000 users a day.” Many more than the library was intended to serve. “But the area just keeps growing and growing,” she says.

Last year, the proceeds from Oktoberfest helped pay for more and better library Internet access.

“Ultimately, we’re going to need to build another library,” Glick says. “Right now we’re trying to build up our assets.”

Hoping to help raise money for the project were more than 100 volunteers supervising an assortment of games, a giant book sale, a crafts fair and raffle.

As the Rhine River Stompers brought the beat back up, a roaming chicken joined in with two women enjoying a good-natured dance. A crowd gathered to watch the spectacle. A group of children laughed and pointed, then, at the urging of the chicken, began flapping their wings and dancing.

Contact reporter Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.