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Crowds Pour In for Oktoberfest Fundraiser in Collinsville

Canton Historical Museum members say they will make the event an annual one; plan changes to better accommodate crowds.

Members of the Canton Historical Society were thrilled with the overwhelming response to the organization’s first Oktoberfest, held Friday night to benefit the improvements at the Canton Historical Museum.

Organizers estimated the crowd at 400. 

“Obviously it was a great response and a lot more people than we anticipated,” said board member Jen Barlow.

Those that purchased a $12 mug ($15 at the door), were granted entry into the event and a free drink ticket for a beer or wine. Additional drinks were then $3.

The museum made 300 mugs, thinking it would have some left over.

By the time the event started nearly all had been sold and organizers had to resort to cups. The response was so great, they eventually had to turn some people away. 

Barlow said the organization plans to host the event again next year but will make some changes to better accommodate people and improve the flow.

Barlow said she appreciates everyone’s patience with the long lines.

"Everyone seemed to have a good time," she said. 

“We’ve already started to talk about next year,” Barlow added. “We learned a lot.”

The event was held to raise funds for the museum, which hopes to build a new accessible entrance, create a visitor’s center, accessible restrooms and more.

Organizers did not immediately have an exact total of money raised since expenses were still being factored in.

The Lions Club also benefited by selling food at the event.

Sponsors included Canton Lions Club, Bahre's Package Store, Suburban Sanitation Service, DentfixExpress, LLC, Antiques on the Farmington, @Collinsville LLC, Steven Stang, 4 Square Post and Beam, and Brad Gilchrist.

Carol Barlow, also a museum board member, said it was great to see the event did so well and yet did not detract from large crowds at the LaSalle Market and Deli open mic, Francesca’s and The Flea Circus.

A very mild evening also helped.

“We’re going to do it again next year and hope the weather gods are shining down on us again,” Carol Barlow said.

Jen Barlow said she thinks the event also raised some awareness about the museum, which contains numerous displays, photographs, documents and artifacts from Canton’s history and more.

Jen Barlow said she hopes visitation rises and hopes more people of all age groups will consider joining and volunteering for the museum. The museum also has a limited number of the event's "Illegitimus" T-shirts for sale. Cost is $20.

Hours through November are Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Find out more about the museum at its web site or facebook page

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