MINSTER – The 48th annual Minster Oktoberfest, coming up Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, has new attractions such as a kids area and a second beer garden but also past favorites that reflect the town’s German heritage, including ethnic food, crafts and beer, and entertainment ranging from German bands to local musical talent.
According to Theresa Thien, Oktoberfest Publicity and Communication chair, the area’s largest party starts at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 with the Arts and Craft show opening at the north end of the Oktoberfest park on Lincoln Drive.
Thien said the Arts and Crafts area has shifted to make room for a second beer garden called Das Biergarten located on the north end of the festival area near the gazebo.
“The music at this new beer garden will be more mellow in nature, targeted more toward families and the older crowd,” she said.
Also new is a Kids Korner, located on Fourth Street near the old Crescent theater.
“There will be face-painting, balloon animals and a variety of other kid-focused activities,” she said.
The tradition of back-to-back music has always been a big part of Oktoberfest and this year will be no exception. Roger DeMange will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Das Biergarten area.
Polka music is being offered by the Brian Papesh band at the Gazebo at 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Rock and roll and country music starts at 8 p.m. with Karma’s Pawn at Spass Platz and the band 127 North in the Heritage Beer Garden.
Saturday morning will begin with a car show at Community Lanes bowling alley with registration starting at 9:30 a.m. Little Miss Oktoberfest, a competition for 5 and 6 year old girls at the Knights of Columbus Hall, will begin at 10 a.m.
The 33 exhibitors of the Arts and Craft Show open for business at 10 am and the food and beverage stands will open 11. For those who want Oktoberfest gear such as buttons, T-shirts, mugs, and even a koozie to fit their beer growler, people need to head to the Button Haus on Fourth Street.
Nothing represents the community involvement in Oktoberfest more than the food offered that weekend. Ranging from cabbage rolls and German potato salad by the Minster 4-H to fried Twinkies and hog wings by the Eagles auxiliary, 18 community groups offer any kind of festival and ethnic food desired. A listing can be found on the Oktoberfest page minsteroktoberfest.com/food.
Immediately following noon opening ceremonies at the gazebo on Saturday, the Miss Oktoberfest pageant will begin at Spass Platz at 12:30 p.m. German music group Schnapps Band will be at the gazebo from 1 to 6 p.m.
The popular Beer Tray Relay starts at 2 p.m. on Fourth Street. Thien said that four-person teams sign up to see who can run the fastest without spilling beer. She added that while most teams are sponsored by local businesses, some people form their own team just for the fun of it.
Another uniquely Oktoberfest activity, the Jug Hoist, will be held on Fourth Street at 4 p.m., after the Beer Tray Relay is done. The Jug Hoist is a contest of strength and stamina, with individuals holding a full jug of beer on their index finger, with thumb upright and at arms length, with the winner being the one to hold on the longest. The competitors are sponsored, not surprisingly, by local bars and taverns but anyone can test their strength by paying a nominal fee. Registration is on the day of the event.
The German music group Klaberheads will entertain with at Spass Platz from 3:30 to 7 p.m. while the band The Brothers In Law play at Das Biergarten from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A celebration mass of their German heritage will be held at St. Augustine Catholic church at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
German music continues at the gazebo with Fest Meisters from 7 to 11 p.m. The band Schnikelfritz is at Spass Platz from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
At the Heritage Beer Garden, local favorites Zach and Steve Rosenbeck will take the stage from 8 to 11:30 p.m., closing out the night’s entertainment.
Sunday starts with an Oktoberfest 10K run, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Minster High School and ends at Spass Platz where awards are given. The Arts and Crafts booths open at 10 and the beverage and refreshments stands start up at 11 a.m.
Music by The Reatles, a cover band for Beatles music, is at Das Biergarten from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The big event of the festival is the Minster Oktoberfest Parade, which begins at 2 p.m. The theme for the 2021 parade is “Our Piece of Germany.”
The parade’s grand marshal will be Jack Buschur. Thien said he was selected for the honor because his actions as a community member exceeded all expectations of any resident, as well as those required to be selected as the grand marshal. As a member of the community Buschur began by committing time to several community organizations. She continued, “Under his leadership Buschur Electric’s philanthropic endeavors included the sponsoring of many youth sports organizations, the assistance in the development of the Minster bike path, a key contributor to the Minster athletics for scoreboards and track resurfacing along with numerous other contributions.”
The parade route starts at the Dutch Mill on Fourth Street, heading west through the Oktoberfest grounds, then north on state Route 66, ending at Seventh Street.
After the parade, German group Schnickelfritz plays from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at the gazebo and at the same time, the Klaberheads will perform at Spass Platz. Wrapping up the evening from 4 to 7 p.m. is Jim McGowen at Das Biergarten and from 4 to 8 p.m., Kyle Koesters is at the Heritage Beer Garden.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.