Elks make plans to keep Oktoberfest on track

Crowds in the thousands flock annually to both the Festival of the Sea and the Elks' Oktoberfest, held on the same day for the last 20 years. FILE PHOTO

POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant Elks Lodge 1698 is in talks with borough officials to keep their annual Oktoberfest event happening after being denied a permit to hold the long-running festival in Point Pleasant Beach.

The Elks announced on their Facebook page Monday, “We are happy to announce that with the collaboration and unanimous support of Point Pleasant Boro Mayor Sabosik, Point Pleasant Boro Council and the Point Pleasant Boro Chamber Board of Directors we have formulated an alternative plan to keep the Oktoberfest celebration on track.”

According to the post, should Point Pleasant Beach not reconsider the denial, tentative plans would be to host the event at the Arnold Avenue Park just beyond the bend from the Elks Lodge where the event has been held in past years.

Recently the Elks were denied the permits needed to present their Oktoberfest, which has been held for more than 20 years in conjunction with the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Festival of the Sea.

“We have a lot of borough residents who have been lifelong Elks. The Elks have a tradition of helping veterans and special needs children to the best of their ability,” Mayor Robert Sabosik said Monday.
“This event is the biggest fundraiser that they have to fund these types of endeavors. The [Point Pleasant Borough] Chamber of Commerce called me up, we had a conference call and they asked for help from the town of Point Pleasant, if it’s needed, to save the event, save their funding mechanism for these programs that are so sorely needed in today’s times. 
“Council was told and we have offered the park to the Elks, if they cannot reach an agreement with Point Pleasant Beach, it will be at the Arnold Avenue property.
“Our chamber of commerce, as well as the mayor and council are unanimous in wanting to help them fulfill this need, if they cannot come to a successful conclusion in Point Pleasant Beach. It is just a cornerstone of the Elks organization.”
Chamber officials were glad to offer their support.
“When we found out about it we were very upset, we thought this was a great event,” said Charlene Archer, vice president of the Point Pleasant Borough Chamber of Commerce.

“We always thought it was a nice partnership between the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber and the Elks to do something like this because it is a nice event, it [Festival of the Sea] is a very highly attended event. When we found out they didn’t get this permit … we as a board got together, started talking about it and brainstorming, ‘What can we do to help the Elks? We need to do something, can we host it?'”

“… what the Elks do in the community speaks volumes for how much they want to help the families in the area and the whole state,” Ms. Archer added.

“It was a whole consensus. The Elks is a member of our chamber and we want to help our members do the best they can do and help them as much as we can.”

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