PENDLETON — Whether you have a German heritage or not, everyone is invited to the sixth-annual Oktoberfest Pendleton on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The annual celebration is a fundraiser for local nonprofits and high school scholarships.

“It’s a really fun, family-friendly event. It’s a great event for the post Round-Up blues and for us to have one really good celebration before the weather turns,” said Niki Naughton, a representative of the event.

In the past, Oktoberfest Pendleton has been in the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds, but this year, the event shifts over to the Happy Canyon Arena and Happy Canyon Room at the Pendleton Convention Center.

“We chose that because we’ve had bad weather luck the past couple of years with rain, and we wanted to have a covered, indoor space that people could go to,” Naughton said. “We also wanted it to be more of an intimate setting. We were so spread out in the Round-Up grounds it was hard for people to run into each other.”

Because of the new venue, the event this year will also feature traditional German foods catered by Pendleton Catering Company with meat provided by the title sponsor Hill Meat Company.

The event will feature a full lineup of beers and, because of the different location, guests will be able to purchase liquor if desired. Soda and other non-alcoholic drinks will also be available.

Each “Drinker Pass” ticket will include two beer tokens, which can be used for two tastings or one full beer. Those passes are $15 if purchased online in advance and $20 if purchased the day of the event. Additional beer chips can be purchased for $3.

The Non-Drink Pass, for those who want to enjoy the festival without drinking any alcohol, is $5. Children 12 and under get in free.

As in the past, the event will feature kids activities. This year, those activities will be sponsored by Pendleton Parks and Recreation.

Another change this year will involve payments. The event has traditionally been a cash-only event, but they will be able to take credit/debit card payments this year.

In addition, Oktoberfest will feature live music, event merchandise from Blue Mountain Creations for purchase, and a free shuttle will be running to popular spots around Pendleton.

Pendleton Oktoberfest is a fully volunteer-run event.

Over the past six years, it has raised $100,000. The benefactors this year are PAWS, Cason’s Place, Miranda Case and the Pendleton Lion’s Club, as well as the annual college scholarship open to all high school students in Umatilla County.

“The whole goal is to raise as much money as possible for the nonprofits,” Naughton said. “It’s really an Oktoberfest event for everyone in Umatilla County to come support because it does so much good.”

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