PUMPKIN PICKERS — An adult and child survey the pumpkin pickings during last year’s festivities.

Fall is beginning to hit Sonoma County, which means it’s time for fall festivities — one of the first of which is Cloverdale’s annual Oktoberfest and Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch event.

On Saturday, Oct. 5 from noon to 7 p.m., Cloverdale will be host to both events in the downtown plaza. The events feature activities for all ages, including magic shows, face painting and balloon twisting for the younger attendees and vendors and a beer stein contest for those who are older.

Oktoberfest is put on by the Kiwanis Club of Cloverdale in conjunction with Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch.

Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch will be providing pumpkins and gourds for attendees to buy, as well as activities for kids and a silent auction. The Kiwanis Club of Cloverdale will be organizing the musical entertainment for the day, as well as the event food and vendors.

“There are going to be all kinds of things going on, so that everybody will find something that makes them happy,” said Laurie Kneeland, outgoing Kiwanis co-president and organizer of Oktoberfest.

The Showcase Band will be coming back to event, having performed at last year’s Oktoberfest as well. The band works with the audience and encourages participation, Kneeland said. Those in the audience can look forward to the band running through the chicken dance, or holding various contests with event goers.

While the event features myriad different activities for folks of various ages, Kneeland said that her favorite thing about Oktoberfest is seeing the Kiwanis Club’s and Pumpkin Patch’s work come to fruition.

“What I enjoy most is when we’re finally all set up and people are starting to come, is the happy faces and the people having fun. It makes me feel happy — and of course after I have a beer, I’m even happier,” Kneeland said, laughing. “It’s a fun event and all the hard work we put in it during the year to put it together for the community, it’s great to see them come out and support our efforts.”

In addition to being an event for the community, Oktoberfest and Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch are also fundraisers for each organization. The money raised by Kiwanis’ Oktoberfest goes toward their administrative fees, and the money raised by the pumpkin patch goes toward the Courtney Jade Davis Memorial Scholarship, as well as local cancer patients. Both organizations are 501(c)3 nonprofit tax-exempt charities.

Admission for the event is free. Advance adult meal tickets are $12 and $15 the day of the event. Meal tickets for kids 10 and under are $5. Meal tickets are for sale at Mail Center, Etc., 207 N. Cloverdale Blvd., from any Kiwanis member or at the event. The beer sponsor for Oktoberfest is Bear Republic, and the wine sponsor is Kelley and Young Winery.

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