Oktoberfest at the beach

After last year’s cowboy theme, the library shoots for a Maui feel

By Allison Todd, Staff Writer

The JFK Library staff held the annual Oktoberfest from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. This community event, which raises money for the library’s Collection Endowment fund, brought in hundreds of people to help support EWU students and faculty.

The library has been holding Oktoberfest annually since 2002. According to Oktoberfest coordinator Carol King, the event is not exactly a Oktoberfest celebration, but the name stuck after the first year. “We’ve been doing this for 13 years and the very first one was more of a traditional kind of Oktoberfest. We had brats and sauerkraut and beer and that kind of thing,” she said.

Since then, there has been a different theme every year. Oktoberfest 2014 followed a cowboy theme, and before that the themes varied from “Galaxy Quest” to library treasure hunts. The themes are decided not only by a committee, but the Eastern community as a whole. As many as 15 different ideas are pitched by the Oktoberfest committee and the Eastern community is asked which one it would like to see.

This year the committee decided on Island Getaway and the JFK Library staff rose to the occasion, completely transforming the library to match. Guests could try their hands at wine bottle ring toss, dress up for the photo booth and enter in a raffle for a variety of prizes.

The biggest events were the live and silent auctions, which featured thousands of dollars in items donated by various members of the community. “We start asking for donations in January and we have really cool donors that have given back year after year after year,” said King. Auction items ranged from books and gift baskets to Seahawks tickets and a seven-day trip to Maui. And amidst all the fun, an authentic Hawaiian dinner was provided by EWU Dining Services.

Throughout the night, dances were put on by members of EWU’s Hawaiian Club. Tamara Akau, Brittney Imade and Dana Ann Billena started off the performances around 7:30 p.m. Mahina Kuamo’o-Moli and Minoaka Kuamo’o-Moli were second to perform and Ryan Chun, Nick Huff and Ethan Lim finished off the night. According to Akau, King contacted their club through their advisor around mid-September to take part in Oktoberfest and every member who was able showed up to help with setup. The club also had a donation table at the event to raise money to support their club’s annual luau, which should be occurring sometime in the spring.

With this year’s Oktoberfest over, there are already preparations being made for next year’s event, and emails will be going out with potential ideas for community members to pick from within the next four or five months. “I know people have already been talking about potentially some sort of ‘Star Trek’ theme,” said King.