Fort Riley, Kansas



Annual get-together becomes Volksfest, an event for all ages

By Season Osterfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | October 06, 2017

     Soldiers, families and cou­ples celebrated Fort Riley’s Oktoberfest with a new twist Sept. 29 at Riley’s Conference Center.

     Named Volksfest this year, the annual celebration is tra­ditionally held at the Warrior Zone, but the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Better Op­portunities for Single Soldiers expanded and changed loca­tions to transform it into an event for all ages.

     “It is just like Oktoberfest, but we decided to switch up the name, so in conjunction with BOSS and (the) Warrior Zone, we decided to expand Oktoberfest from the Warrior Zone and make it more kid friendly,” said Christian Bish­op, business manager at Riley’s Conference Center.

     Guests dined on schnitzel, potatoes, bratwurst and more — many of which are from the same menu served during the Christ­kindl Market, Bishop said. For adults, a beer was included with their meal and those younger than 21 received a root beer float.

     After eating, guests made their way to the photo booth and posed with playful props or ventured outside where Soldiers from the BOSS pro­gram waited to take them through a variety of games and activities.

     “We’ve got our German menu, which is pretty famous during Christkindl (market),” she said. “We’ve got games out back that BOSS is help­ing to participate in and a photo booth.”

     Activities included a keg toss, stein carry, stein hold and drunken waiter obstacle course. New this year were a sack race and corn hole toss.

     “I think the food is really awesome and there’s really nice activities for everybody,” said Warrant Officer Elida Garza, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Divi­sion. “You don’t have to be over 21. It’s great for me.”

     Garza attended Volksfest with her son, Adan Para. Para ran through every activity, going back to some twice. He said his favorite was the drunken waiter because of the challenge he had between clearing the obstacles, carry­ing a tray of filled mugs and trying to see through goggles that impaired his vision.

     After watching her son play and talking with BOSS Soldiers, Garza said she ap­preciated how friendly the BOSS representatives were and hoped to see more events like this in the future.

     “They’re really, really fun and everybody that’s volun­teering from the BOSS pro­gram is very nice,” she said. “It’s awesome. Hopefully Fort Riley has more activities like this, especially in the winter.”