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The race’s location is in question, but the fundraiser will go on.
Friday, October 11, 2013
The government shutdown of the U.S. National Park Service could force the Oct. 19 5K Trail Race/Walk, part of Oktoberfest, to move from the Booker T. National Monument in Hardy to LakeWatch Plantation in Moneta. The last government shutdown, in 1995, furloughed federal workers for 21 days.
Andrea Fansler, director of the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA, said that if the park is open, the 5K Race/Walk will start at 10:30 a.m. at Westlake Towne Center, go through the park's Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail and end back at Westlake for Oktoberfest, a fundraiser for the SML YMCA.
Fansler said the YMCA, which is encouraging walkers and runners to wear costumes, will hand out awards to the top runners in each age bracket . About 100 runners and walkers have registered. Entry fee the day of the race is $25 for adults and $15 for children younger than 13 .
But despite the possible relocation of the race/walk, the show will go on.
The Willard Companies will present a rain-or-shine Oktoberfest event from noon to 5 p.m., after the race/walk, in the Westlake Towne Center.
According to Chris Finley, director of marketing and communications for The Willard Companies, the festival will feature live German-style music by The Sauerkraut Band , as well as local band Barefoot West.
"It's no secret that Smith Mountain Lake has a seasonal market, so our interest was to stretch the season out a little more," Finley said. "We hope the community embraces it. It's another reason to bring the family out."
He said there will be a children's play area with inflatables, sidewalk chalk drawing and face painting.
Festivalgoers also can sample German food and taste the seasonal beer, which will be brewed by Sunken City Brewing Co . for the event. Brewmaster Jeremy Kirby said Sunktoberfest is a German and Austrian-style lager, which is amber-colored, stronger and more flavorful than the brewery's flagship beer, Dam Lager.
Finley said a tent will be set up in the field near the brewery, but he encouraged visitors to bring their own chairs. Coolers and pets are not allowed. On-site parking will be available with the help of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and other volunteers.
Admission is $5, and a valid ID is required for those 21 and older. Children 13 and younger are free.
"It ended up really being a win-win," Finley said.
The YMCA was looking to offer a fall race, and the Willards wanted to create a fall event for the community so they partnered to help the facility with its debt-reduction fundraising campaign, he said.
In the past several weeks, Smith Mountain Lake YMCA has raised $110,000, which will be matched by an anonymous donor. The facility needs to raise $2 million total and at least $600,000 by Oct. 15 to start paying its bank note.
Fansler said the Y has been selling golf balls with numbers on them for $5 each.
During Oktoberfest , there will be a golf ball drop. Hoppers Tree Service will drop golf balls from a cherry picker onto a makeshift green and tee. The participant whose golf ball drops into the hole first will receive a cash prize of up to $500.
For more information, visit www.smloktoberfest.com. To donate to the SML YMCA, call Fansler at 721-9622.
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