JFK Library to host 16th annual Oktoberfest


Easterner Archives

Attendees pose during the 2016 edition of Oktoberfest. The 2018 version will be at JFK Library on Oct. 20 and will be fairytale themed.

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

It’s not every day students get to drink in the library.

EWU is hosting its 16th annual Oktoberfest at the JFK Library this Saturday. The event is a fundraiser for EWU libraries.

Oktoberfest includes dinner, beer and wine tasting, music and both a silent and live auction. Money raised will be used to purchase books, journals and resources for students’ use.

“The library is a central feature of the university,” Dr. Charles V. Mutschler, interim dean of libraries for EWU, said. “Donations enable us to enhance library collections that further improve student education and experience.”

Mike Ekins, immediate past chair for the EWU Foundation, has been attending the event for six years. He says one of the things that makes the event so fun is the fact that people often wear costumes to match the evening’s yearly theme. Past themes have included old Hollywood and Star Trek.

“It’s amazing to see what people come up with,” Ekins said. “These aren’t things people went and bought off a rack somewhere like Fred Meyer.”

Ekins laughed when asked what he wore to the Star Trek theme.

“I went as Spock,” Ekins said. “I still have the ears.”

This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Time.” Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite fairytale character.

Costumes aren’t required, but Ekins says wearing one adds to the enjoyment of the evening.

“Not everyone wears a costume, but most do.” Ekins said. “And the ones who do seem to have more fun than the ones who don’t […] You might not want to wear a costume your first time out, and that’s OK. I think you will your second time though.”

Entertainment this year will be provided by Floating Crowbar, a traditional Irish ensemble from Spokane.

There are currently 247 auction items listed on the event’s website. Prizes include a “Storybook Village Umbrella Stand,” a Christmas wine package and a one-week stay in Maui.

Dinner includes both meat and vegetarian options. Dessert is provided by Marsells Cakes & Desserts Bakery.

Carol King, EWU’s director of library engagement, says it takes a ton of work from a lot of people to put on the event.

“The Oktoberfest Committee truly is a family,” King said. “They drive the decisions, come up with the ideas and recommendations. This event has grown with the people involved.”