One of the most valued volunteer jobs at the upcoming German Village Society Oktoberfest is also one of the dirtiest.

One of the most valued volunteer jobs at the upcoming German Village Society Oktoberfest is also one of the dirtiest.

Each year, hospitality ambassadors, formerly known as butlers, walk the event picking up trash and cleaning tables in an effort to keep the German-centric event running smoothly.

"If we didn't have people picking up trash and just cleaning up after people then it would get really bad and people wouldn't have a good time, have a place to sit down, or not come back next year," said Michael Starr, a member of the Oktoberfest Steering Committee who represents the ambassadors.

Still, unlike arguably the most popular job -- pouring beer -- finding upward of 60 people to clean can be a daunting task.

"It doesn't sound glamorous but it's an important part of the festival," Starr said. "We do have a hard time getting people to volunteer for it."

To this end, each year in recent memory, hospitality ambassadors have received a somewhat edgy T-shirt as an incentive to join.

The shirts typically have something to do with current events. Last year it dealt with Appalachian State's upset over Michigan near the beginning of the football season.

This year, with the area still abuzz from Sen. John McCain's stop at Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, the annual shirt has a political slant.

Drawn by Jeff Stahler, the Columbus Dispatch editorial cartoonist, the shirt is a play on Sen. Barack Obama's recent visit to Germany and McCain's counter-visit in the village.

"We try to keep it something fun and something current," said Jody Graichen, interim executive director for the society. "The idea behind it is the people who volunteer to do this work really go above and beyond because who the heck wants to be a butler?"

Graichen said the T-shirts are typically a hit among those who attend the event.

"I know there were people who were approaching the butlers and saying, 'Oh my God, where did you get your shirt from?'" Graichen said about last year's shirt.

Graichen said the goal each year is simply to have an amusing shirt for the volunteers.

"We certainly wouldn't call them risqué, we certainly don't want to offend anyone, we certainly don't want to push it too far, but we do try to keep it edgy, something that will crack a smile," Graichen said.

"The T-shirt is just an extra perk of being a butler," she continued.

Bob Jackson, volunteer organizer for Oktoberfest, said the event needs seven ambassadors per shift and a majority of the shifts are still open.

Looking over the volunteer shift schedule, Jackson pointed out that the first shift is completely filled, and commented that the key to finding volunteers is getting one person.

"They get groupies," Jackson said. "The groupies are the ones that tend to work and they have fun."

Jackson helped organize the cleanup volunteers in the past. He said though part of it involves trash, it also involves dealing with people.

Starr echoed Jackson and said it's more fun than people think.

"I get to spend the whole festival walking around and talking to people," Starr said.

This year's Oktoberfest takes place Sept. 5-7 at Genoa Park between COSI and Scioto River. It's open 5 p.m. to midnight Sept. 5, noon to midnight Sept. 6 and noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 7.

Advance tickets are $5 while tickets at the gate are $8.