Visitors bureau ready for Oktoberfest

September 20, 2018

Rachel Reiser was introduced as the new activities development director for the Norfolk Area Sports Council at the monthly meeting Tuesday of the Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau’s advisory committee.

Reiser began her duties on Sept. 4. She succeed Paul Hughes, who left to accept a sports writing position with the Daily News.

Reiser and her husband, Craig, have three children: Adelynn, 8, Hayden, 5, and Carson, 3. The couple moved here in 2009, and since then she has worked for Faith Regional Health Services, Mutual of Omaha and the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce.

At Tuesday’s meeting, she reported on a number of upcoming activities, including the Diamond W Classic Dog Trial, which is this weekend at the Madison County Fairgrounds.

The event is bringing in owners and dogs from nine states that will compete in novice, intermediate, nursery, ranch and open competitions. The activity is free and open to the public.

Several golf-related activities are also in the works, including the Norfolk Disc Golf Club Jekyll & Hyde Tournament, which is Sept. 29 and 30. On Oct. 1, Norfolk Catholic will host the Class C-3 district golf tournament at the Norfolk Country Club, and on Oct. 8 and 9, the Class A Girls Golf Championships will be at the Norfolk Country Club.

In visitors bureau news, Traci Jeffrey, the bureau’s executive director, reported that plans all are in place for Norfolk’s Oktoberfest celebration, which is this weekend.

A variety of activities are planned, including a parade, dance, bike ride and band competition.

A new addition to community will be revealed during the festival. Ten bike racks will be unveiled on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., just prior to the Rad Tour bicycle ride.

The colorful metal racks were created by Norfolk Specialties and funded by private donations and a grant from the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District. They will be situated at locations around town.

The idea for the bike racks was first presented during the planning of Norfolk’s 150th anniversary celebration two years ago. Students from Northeast Community College were involved in designing the racks, which resemble a bicycle, Jeffrey said.

Also during the meeting, Jeffrey showed a video promoting the Oktoberfest celebration and Northeast Nebraska that was produced through the Nebraska Tourism Commission. The video is shown on social media sites sponsored by the commission.

In other business, Jeffrey said lodging taxes received this past June were $7,000 higher than June of last year, and hotel room occupancy rates for July were up from last July.

The visitors bureau is primarily funded by lodging taxes collected in the county.

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