MIFFLINBURG – Raise your stein, shout “Prost!” and drink at the festival that celebrates beer, October and all things German.
The Mifflinburg Heritage and Revitalization Association will be hosting their annual Oktoberfest on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the VFW Carnival Grounds, 10770 Old Turnpike Road (Rt. 45), just outside west of town.
New this year, in response to requests from attendees, Oktoberfest wine glasses are available for purchase during the Shade Mountain Wine Tasting. Beer mugs and clear mugs will be available, as always.
Festival organizers are excited to host the event this year after last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19 restrictions. Still, some changes will need to be made, the most important being the amount of draft beer available, said Heidi Chriswell, executive director of the MHRA.
“We are really lucky to be able to host the event, with everything going on in the world,” she said. “Because of COVID, they don’t keg as much. If the restaurants are closed, then the beer on tap goes bad, so they don’t go on tap as much.
The MHRA was able to order a variety of German beers, but not as many casks as they had hoped. People wishing for a particular brand are advised to come early.
“What makes our festival unique is that we are really proud that our beer comes from Germany,” said Chriswell. The only exception to this is Rusty Rail’s Oktoberfest, which is made in Mifflinburg.
The idea for an Oktoberfest in Mifflinburg was started by the late Rudi Skucek, an Austrian who retired to the hometown of his wife, Joannah (Skucek) McGregor. After starting the city’s now famous Christkindl Market, Skucek convinced his friends that Mifflinburg, with its predominantly German heritage, would also be perfect for an annual Oktoberfest.
“We just thought it would be nice, given that this is a German colonized city, to have an Oktoberfest,” said Larry Mitchell, who heads the Oktoberfest committee. “We can’t imitate Munich in any way, but we have the same beer you would drink if it were there.”
In addition to beer and wine, there will be entertainment, including the keg throwing and the ‘Munich Mug Lift’, in which participants will see how long they can hold four large mugs of beer with their arms outstretched in front. them.
“It can get a little rowdy,” Mitchell said. “People start hooting and yelling, cheering on their favorite. “
German shows and dancers round off the day with music and fun.
“It’s very traditional,” Mitchell said. “People come to dance. You will see a lot of people on the dance floor dancing to waltzes and polkas.
German and American dishes will be offered including bratwurst, knockwurst, hot dogs, fries, pulled pork, beef and chicken, brick oven pizzas, grilled cheese, sauerkraut chowder, scallops, drunken cupcakes and whoopie pies, and a variety of pastries.
“It’s a great day to hang out with friends, eat, drink and listen to music, and have fun,” Chriswell said.
“On Oktoberfest day everyone is German,” said Mitchell, “just like everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day.”
Chriswell added a special note of gratitude to the local sponsors who make the event possible, in particular Mifflinburg Bank & Trust Co., which pays for mugs and mugs, Stahl-Sheaffer Engineering for wine glasses and Ritz-Craft Corporation. for the tent. Other sponsors include T-Square Drafting, Roupp Funeral Home, Mid-Penn Energy, Heritage Printing & Design, Susquehanna Community Bank, Lawton / Erie Insurance, Buffalo Valley Wealth Plus, Bing’s Auto LLC, Rusty Rail Brewing Co., Wehr’s Beverage, K&S Music Center, HL Klose & Sons, Chilly Willy’s and Service 1st Federal Credit Union.
For more information, visit “Mifflinburg Oktoberfest” on Facebook, www.mifflinburgpa.com or call 570-966-1666.
Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email your comments to [email protected]