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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Oktoberfest to benefit area service league

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Oktoberfest 2009

The Fredericksburg Area Service League will receive financial support from this year’s Oktoberfest event in downtown Fredericksburg.

Capital Ale House, which is putting on the fourth-annual event Sept. 29 on Caroline and George streets, recently announced that there will be a $2 cover charge this year. Proceeds will go to the service league. Last year’s Oktoberfest event drew about 9,000 people.

Capital Ale had offered to donate the proceeds from the cover charge to Fredericksburg’s under-formation Main Street program, but that group declined the offer. The Main Street group, which is being called “Real Fredericksburg,” plans to receive its funding from a variety of sources including the city’s budget and Economic Development Authority.

Many downtown merchants didn’t want Capital Ale to be able to hold the event on Caroline this year, saying the street’s closure makes it hard for their regular customers to access their stores. Many suggested the Riverfront Park as an alternative location. Fredericksburg City Manager Beverly Cameron ultimately allowed it on Caroline and made changes to allow easier access to adjacent stores.

Capital Ale is working with the service league on Kinderplatz, which will be an area geared toward children within the Oktoberfest gates that will run from noon to 8 p.m. That will include a face painter, a balloon twister and large inflatable attractions.

One new addition this year will be “Kidtoberfest,” which will include family-oriented entertainment at adjacent Market Square from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Capital Ale is partnering with Fredericksburg Parent and Family magazine for that part of the event, which will feature German food and crafts. Children will also be able to pick up “passports” in Market Square and then visit downtown businesses to learn more about Germany.