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PIB's Oktoberfest: the quintessential fall event

John Benson • Oct 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Put-in-Bay Oktoberfest

• WHEN: Oct. 8-9

• WHERE: DeRivera Park, Put-in-Bay

• COST: $4/adult (per day), $6/both days, children 12 and under are free with adult admission

• INFO: 419-285-2832

When thinking about Put-in-Bay’s annual Oktoberfest soirée, the smells emanating from DeRivera Park in the downtown area are enough to add a few pounds to your waist. Still, it sounds like this is the must-attend event of the fall.

“It’s the 18th annual Oktoberfest,” said Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Maggie Beckford. “It’s been very successful since the very first year and this is one of the island events that we call weather-proof. We hold it under two large tents in DeRivera Park and it doesn’t matter. We’ve had rainy years with really good attendance. Not excellence attendance like if it was a beautiful Indian summer day, but still a very good attendance.”

That good attendance can be directly related to the German food, which ranges from spatzel, brats, sauerbraten and wiener schnitzel to German potato salad, potato pancakes, apple dumplings, German chocolate cake, red cabbage and more. There’s also German beer, German wine (thank you Heinemans Winery) and Oktoberfest beer (thank you Put-in-Bay Brewery).

Among the dozen or so local venues scheduled to participate are The Butler Did It, Crow’s Nest, Crescent Tavern and Village Bakery. The fun includes live entertainment by the Maxx Band’s Fingers and Sticks German Band, as well as performances by Mansfield’s Leiderkranz Dancers.

“Over the two days they have about 3,000 go through the tents,” Beckford said. “It’s a lot of locals, a lot of summer residents and friends. A lot of people come back for that. There are a lot of kids who are away at college who come home for Oktoberfest. It’s like a tradition on the island. It’s almost like homecoming without the high school football game. Everybody comes back and catches up.”

Finally, the last question is how should a food lover approach the Oktoberfest culinary offerings? With so much variety offered at the event, it’s best to ask a veteran.

“Well, I approach it over a two-day period,” Beckford laughed. “On Saturday, it’s 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you can get lunch and dinner in. Then on Sunday it’s open from noon to 5 p.m. and that’s usually just grazing all day. It’s just a good time.”

Oktoberfest takes place in DeRivera Park on Put-in-Bay. Admission cost is $4 adults per day or $6 for both days. Children 12 and under are free with adult admission. Food purchases separate. For more information, call 419-285-2832.

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