SALEM — There will be music, good company and, of course, German food and beer at the first Greater Salem Rotary Club Oktoberfest next month — and all the money raised goes to charity.
"The Rotary Club in Salem is about 8 years old, and we've been looking, really, for a signature event," said Peter Rayno, vice president of the club and chairman of the Oktoberfest event.
Rayno is hoping the club has found it in a two-day event Oct. 15 and 16 at Rockingham Park. He said the goal was to find an event that would raise money and awareness of the club, but would also entertain the community.
"We wanted to wrap all that around a real community event, something the entire community would enjoy," Rayno said.
The Rotary Club uses all the money it raises to help others, putting together food baskets for the needy and backpacks filled with school supplies for struggling families.
"Every penny that people spend there is going to go to the charities that the Rotary Club supports," Rayno said.
He said the club has about 35 members, but he hoped that in addition to money, the event would bring in some new people interested in helping others.
"We're hoping that if this is successful and people enjoy it and can see the good work we do, that will only serve to increase awareness of the club," he said.
A large tent will be set up on the corner of Rockingham Park Boulevard and Mall Road for the event. There will be tethered hot air balloon rides on Saturday afternoon, and both days there will be a large car show and race cars from Lee USA on display. The Oberlander Hofbrau Band will play Friday and Saturday, from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the Chris White Band will play from 1 to 5 p.m.
Kids can have their faces painted and get balloon animals. There will be plenty to eat and drink, Rayno said.
"It's going to be a great event that I think people will enjoy," he said.
On Friday, Oct. 15, the event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, it will start at noon and run until 10 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5 to 18. Children under 5 are admitted free.
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