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United Way’s sixth annual Oktoberfest planned for Saturday

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:32 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:33 a.m. CST

Now that autumn is in full swing, celebrate the season change with a little family fun during the United Way of Jasper County’s sixth annual Oktoberfest. The free event is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Newton YMCA, 1701 S. Eighth Ave. E.

“Last year I think we had 1,000 people come through, and it’s growing every year. That really demonstrates the need for free activities,” said Travis Padget, executive director at the United Way of Jasper County.

Some of those activities include a bounce house, bike riding, an obstacle course geared toward kids, crafts, a fishing game, prize drawings and free snacks. The Newton Fire Department also will be on hand with its “safe house” to teach youngsters the importance of fire prevention, and new this year is a fall photo area — complete with hay bales and other fall foliage — presented by Employee & Family Resources, where families can pose for a snapshot and kids can decorate a frame.

“It’s fun, active, educational things,” Padget said, noting that this will be his first year as an organizer of the event.

Anyone in the community is invited and encouraged to participate in Oktoberfest, which is sponsored by several Jasper County non-profits. And the weekend’s weather looks promising for the family outing.

“The leaves are changing and it’s the perfect time to get in the fall spirit,” Padget said.