IRON MOUNTAIN – Dust off those clogs and get ready for the polka.
The Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority announced the return of Oktoberfest on Saturday to downtown Iron Mountain.
The Authentic Bavarian Festival, sponsored by First National Bank & Trust, will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the parking lot at the intersection of East A and Iron Mountain streets.
The festivities kick off with the opening speech by Festmeister Mark Klossner at 10:50 a.m.
Klossner will continue to bring joy to life throughout the day with traditional polka music and thematic songs.
It wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest without German food and spirits. Local vendors offering tasty specialties include Crispigna’s, Spiros, Uncle Bob’s Pigs “R” We and Dulce Nulla Desserts Gourmets.
New this year will be German wines supplied by Bink’s Wines and Beverages, said DDA event coordinator Tania Mishra.
“We are particularly delighted to offer these wines to those who are not enthusiastic about beer”, Added DDA Program Director Mindy Wittock.
Food vendors will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. “There will be food for all palates” Mishra said. They will offer four Oktoberfest beers from Leinenkugel’s, Bell’s Brewery, Samuel Adams and Hacker-Pschorr.
Live entertainment begins with The Twin Lakes & Trio from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Richie Yurkovich and Polka Dot will take the stage with classical polka music from 2 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
The evening will be closed by popular local variety group Next Myle from 6 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.
“They are really loved by the crowd – we are happy to bring them back”, Mishra said.
The music at Oktoberfest is sponsored by the Tourism Association of Dickinson County Area.
Both men and women can test their Bavarian strength in the stein outfit competition. “Once again, it’s back by popular demand”, Mishra said.
The competition is free, but participants must register online to reserve a place. Competitors must have an Oktoberfest 21-plus bracelet to participate in the competition.
Each round will have a maximum of five participants. The winner of each round will participate in the championship round.
“The champion of the general classification will receive his own ‘Das Boot’,” Mishra said.
The DDA will also crown a new Mrs. Oktoberfest. Candidates will compete at noon in three categories: best dirndl or German outfit; beer palace – the ability to identify Oktoberfest beers through a blind taste test; and German pronunciation – the ability to pronounce three German words.
“We are thrilled for Ms. Oktoberfest, who will receive a beautiful crown and belt,” Mishra said.
Participants can also enjoy hammerschlagen games, in which participants attempt to hammer a nail into a tree stump all at once, Mishra said.
The DDA is also bringing back the cornhole games for some friendly competition.
The Northern Interstate Bank will sponsor the Kids’ Zone, open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Activities include a bouncy house, magic show, balloon animals and more.
“We strive to provide entertainment and activities for the whole family” said Wittock.
A few VIP tables, which can seat eight people, are still available. “These tables need to be reserved in advance, so if anyone is considering making reservations, you should do so today.” Mishra said.
Tables will include a sign with the name of the business or family making the reservation.
The DDA is also a partner of Run Iron Mountain. Participants in the half marathon and relay will receive free entry to Oktoberfest and a free drink of their choice.
The event is still in need of volunteers, especially for the third shift from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Mishra said. “We have stations which are empty at the moment”, she said.
“The weather is looking good so far, so hopefully we will see some sun and a good crowd”, she said.
Admission is $ 10 for bracelets at the door, children 12 and under can attend for free.
All proceeds will be donated to the Iron Mountain DDA, which supports economic development, historic preservation and revitalization of the downtown Iron Mountain business district.
Oktoberfest sponsors include First National Bank & Trust, Dickinson County Area Tourism Association, Northern Interstate Bank, Erickson Jewelers, MJ Electric, Grede, 41 Lumber, County Health System Dickinson and Norway Eye Care.
“We are delighted to be able to bring back the Oktoberfest after a year without events”, said Wittock. “It will give everyone the opportunity to come together and have a good time at a special outdoor festival.”
Mishra noted that the party area will be stocked with hand sanitizers and gloves, and the stations will be cleaned regularly. More signage will be installed to help direct the flow of people entering and leaving each area and avoid traffic jams.
“We just want to celebrate the community and come together to enjoy each other’s company at this special outdoor festival” Mishra said.
For more information or to register for the competitions, visit centrevilleironmountain.com/oktoberfest/.