The bad news is the summer is ending. The good news is autumn means football, the turning of Mother Nature’s colorful leaves and Oktoberfest.
OK, it’s the latter event that has our bellies grumbling for some good German food, beer and oompah music.
At Put-in-Bay, the 19th annual Island Oktoberfest will be taking place October 11 and 12 at De Rivera Park. Funcoast.com talked to Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Maggie Beckford about the feast and fun.
When you think of Oktoberfest on Put-in-Bay, what comes to mind?
The whole thing started when we were looking for a festival to do. One man who lived on the island was just a big German Beer Festival kind of guy and he came up with doing an Oktoberfest. This is the only event we do that lasts two days. It’s basically just our Put-in-Bay Chamber members who have food. They’re the only ones who are invited to it and it’s all German food, of course. There’s a big variety of it and there are people who come back every year because they anticipate certain things like German chocolate cake from scratch. In fact, everything is made from scratch, really. The booths usually do more than one thing. There will be cabbage noodles at one place and a brat at another place or Wiener schnitzel.
What sort of attendance does the Put-in-Bay Oktoberfest bring in?
I would say that we probably put 4,000 through the tent in two days. We call it the Put-In-Bay homecoming. It’s when all of the kids who grew up here come home with their own kids. We don’t have a high school football team or a homecoming in that respect, but Oktoberfest has really turned into a homecoming. If you want to see somebody that you haven’t seen in a long time at Put-in-Bay, you come up this weekend.
What’s up with the German music from group Fingers and Sticks? They seem to always play the Oktoberfest.
They got involved because The Maxx Band was like an anchor band. So they played a lot here at Put-in-Bay. They said they could put a little band together called Fingers and Sticks where they could play oompah music. They do such a good job for us we have them come back year after year.
The 19th annual Island Oktoberfest takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 11 and 12-5 p.m. Oct. 12 in a large tent located on Toledo Avenue in the downtown area.
Admission is $4 or $6 for a two-day pass. Children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.