The Turned Leaf Fest originated in 1982. Scarseth House, a group home for chemically dependent adolescents, designed the Fest as an alternative celebration for families and individuals who choose not to drink at Oktoberfest.
The name, Turned Leaf Fest, signifies people in recovery turning over a new leaf and the changing leaf color in autumn. From the beginning, the Fests served traditional Oktoberfest food: brats, kraut, and soft drinks. They also provided a variety of activities and entertainment, including games, prizes, souvenirs, dancing, and a wonderful opportunity for fellowship. A large volunteer component was always there, most notable among the first volunteers were Nancy Gould, Bill Lindley, Bob Moe, (staff at Scarseth when the Fest first started); Ruth Griffin, Sarah McCalmont, Rick Quinn, and Dick McManimon were involved in later years.
In 1995, the Coulee Council took over the coordinating responsibilities for the Fest, and has every year since.
For some years, with the exception of the original Fest, all of the activities were held at Myrick Park. When the Coulee Council became involved, day activities remained at Myrick, but the evening dance was held elsewhere. In 2009 all the festivities were held at the park and in 2011 the dance evolved into Karaoke.
Many recovering people, who have moved out of the area, manage to return for this event, finding fellowship with old friends and meeting new ones. The Fest has, in a sense, created an institution of it's own, or at least, a valued community tradition. It is also open to anyone who wishes to participate in an alcohol and drug free event, whether or not they are recovering.
Since Coulee Council has managed the Fest, the original goal of providing an alternative Fest continues. Thirty four years ago, the button price was $1.00 and with costs rising a $5.00 suggested donation remains a very good deal. Of course, any recovering person who cannot afford even this minimal expense is given a button and a pass for food. They are also eligible to win door prizes.
So, if you are looking for a fun alternative on Oktoberfest Saturday, if you like brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, sauerkraut, and lots of fellowship, great door prizes, recovery style volley ball, face-painting, great live entertainment, a kids craft table, carnival games, bounce houses and dancing or singing your socks off, please join us. We guarantee, anyone who wants to join us, will have a wonderful time!