Oktoberfest: Annual event returns with early family eventsIn Bavarian fashion the Arts Center will hold its second annual Oktoberfest Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. This year the event has expanded to include an afternoon of family events before the evening’s main festivities.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
In Bavarian fashion the Arts Center will hold its second annual Oktoberfest Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.
This year the event has expanded to include an afternoon of family events before the evening’s main festivities.
“It’s kind of a way of bringing the family out together and getting things started off,” said Cody Mickelson, a member of the event’s planning board and a local German teacher.
Events for the family start at noon with a root beer fest until 1 p.m. where children can get free root beer floats.
There are also games planned including hammerschlagen and the German-Russian game bunnock.
“Hammerschlagen is a game traditionally played in German pubs, wherein you have to pound the nail with the narrow end of a cross-pin hammer with one swipe per turn,” Mickelson said.
The children will be supervised during the event and Mickelson hopes to have an adult tournament later in the evening.
Bunnock is a mix between horseshoes and bowling where you have to knock down your opponent’s row of horse ankle bones; in this case there will be plastic pins.
Other events that afternoon include an inflatable bounce house, face painting, pottery wheel demonstrations, canvas painting and other kids’ games and activities.
“The (Jamestown Area) Chamber of Commerce had the vision of making this an all-inclusive family event and as part of their vision — beginning earlier in the day with events that fit in (with Oktoberfest),” Mickelson said.
Events for adults start at 3 p.m. with a home brew beer tasting. More than a dozen local brew enthusiasts have crafted their own beer. The public can sample and vote for their favorite for $5 more on the admission charge.
“The beer contest leads us into the main event which starts at 5 and goes into 8 p.m.,” he said.
At the main event there will be more than 10 Oktoberfest style beers to sample, plus German food including bratwurst, sauerkraut, soft pretzels, apple strudel and potato chips. There will also be accordion music.
Mickelson said German costumes are encouraged to bring a more authentic feel to the event. A prize is even planned for the most German outfit.
“This year there will be more continuous entertainment at the evening event, alongside with the activities we had last year,” Mickelson said.
He said last year’s event was well received with requests from the public to bring the program back.
Oktoberfest has brought people together in Germany for more than 200 years to mingle before winter and during harvest.
Mickelson said he hopes the event can have a similar effect here.
“It’s to keep the spirit true to German Oktoberfest — bring people together before the winter comes and enjoy each other’s company.”
Tickets are $30 and available at the Arts Center, at Cork and Barrel or online at jamestownarts. com/whatshappening/. Admission also includes a glass beer stein.
Money raised from the event will benefit Arts Center programs.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org