The Sandusky State is putting on its first Oktoberfest

Nothing short of the best-sounding oom-pah-pahs ever is the goal of the organizers behind the inaugural North Coast Oktoberfest taking place all day Sept. 29 at the Sandusky State Theatre.
John Benson
Sep 25, 2012

Highlights include seasonal beer and Austrian wine offerings, a traditional Oktoberfest dinner and live music from local bands Wayne Golob Orchestra, Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein Bavaria and Raq the Casbah. Funcoast talked to Sandusky State Theatre Executive Director Thomas Kazmierczak, III about the impetus behind the event and why he hopes the lederhosen-wearing Go Coast turns out for the German feast.

Want to go?
WHAT: 1st North Coast Oktoberfest
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29
WHERE: Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
COST: $5 entry
INFO: 419-626-1950 or
Funcoast: First of all, tell us about the North Coast Oktoberfest.
Thomas Kazmierczak (TK): It’s the first annual event, and it’s perfect timing for an Oktoberfest. It’s that time of year for that great German music, German food, German dancers and fantastic beer and wine. Plus, the weather is getting cooler and everyone is getting ready to party it up.
Funcoast: How long has the Sandusky State Theatre been thinking about staging its own Oktoberfest?
TK: We’ve been working with the North Coast Young Professionals for a year and a half to two years on the idea. By hook or by crook, we were going to do it this year. And it’s scheduled for Sept. 28, 2013.
Funcoast: So you’re looking ahead already?
TK: Oh yes.
Funcoast: Why is the Sandusky State Theatre interested in its own Oktoberfest?
TK: It’s a good thing for the State Theatre to bring in a crowd with a festival style, kind of unstructured, as opposed to just sit down and watch a show. So it’s something that in reality patrons and the community have been asking for and that’s why we’re doing it.

Funcoast: Considering there are dozens of Oktoberfest events scheduled around Northwest Ohio in the fall, why is this Sandusky State Theatre event unique?
TK: We approached it different in that it’s at the theater. So it’s the location. And also we’re bringing in the local restaurants to add a local flair. There are only so many different things you can for an Oktoberfest. We’re not really looking to be different. We’re looking to create a niche.  We’ve never done this, and it would be the perfect fit for the State Theatre. Plus, it’s an indoor environment so the weather doesn’t pertain to us.
Funcoast: Tell us about the different pricing options.
TK: It’s $5 to get in and that includes all entertainment, all-day. So it’s just one price. And then we have all local restaurants coming to do food with some type of German-Bavarian flare. You can get some food from them but then from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. we’ll have an authentic German dinner catered by Creative Cuisine. It’s $13 and it’s a special pork, sauerkraut, spaetzle German dinner. And in the State Room we’ll have German music and polka music from a live band. We also have an authentic beer garden in the State Room.
Funcoast: What’s the reaction been in the community so far about the North Coast Oktoberfest?
TK: It’s been good. People are excited about it. Even so much that we’re planning 2013 already.
Funcoast: Isn’t that a little presumptuous. Shouldn’t you wait to see if it’s a success?
TK: We already know how it’s going to go – fantastic.
The North Coast Oktoberfest begins at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Admission is $5. Dinner is $13. Guests should arrive early to claim German-style ceramic bier steins with the Oktoberfest logo. For the full schedule check out or For more information, call 419-626-1950 or visit



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