Oktoberfest event returns to Iron Mountain
By TERRI CASTELAZ
The Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority’s annual Oktoberfest opens Saturday with traditional German music.
The authentic Bavarian festival, sponsored by First National Bank & Trust, runs from noon to 11 p.m. CT. in the parking lot at the intersection of East A and Iron Mountain streets.
Festmeister Mark Klossner is coming back to emcee the annual festivities. He will get the crowd going at 12:10 p.m.
“He is fantastic at getting everyone involved — he’s an Oktoberfest novelist,” said Mindy Meyers, DDA program director.
“We are excited — we want Iron Mountain to have that rich Oktoberfest feel.”
The Red River Band will open the entertainment for the day, playing a variety of polka music from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. with K-Blitz to follow from 3 to 5:45 p.m.
“K-Blitz played for our third Thursday event in May and they were a lot of fun,” said Kenzie Williamsen, DDA events coordinator. “We brought them back — we think they will be a good fit in the schedule for Oktoberfest.”
“They play a lot of today’s hits and yesterdays favorites,” Meyers added.
The popular local variety band 141 North will close out the evening from 6:15 to 10:30 p.m.
Myers said they are a big draw with the local community.
The stein holding competition for men and women is back by popular demand.
The event, which takes place from 3 to 4 p.m., is free, but participants must be age 21 or older. The winner of each heat will need to be present for the championship round at 5:15 p.m. Winners of the overall competition will receive their own “Das Boot” beer glass.
Ms. Oktoberfest competition kicks off at 4:30 p.m., with winner crowned at 5 p.m.
Competitors must be dressed in dirndl or another German outfit and will be asked to pronounce several German words.
“They will also have to do a blind taste test to identify Oktoberfest beers,” Meyers said.
“This is a fun competition; you don’t have to be serious with it.”
There is still time to sign up for the stein and Ms. Oktoberfest competitions on the website or links on the DDA Facebook page.
Attendees can enjoy games of hammerschlagen — in which participants attempt to hammer a nail into a tree stump with a single swing — as well for fun.
The children’s area will be open for activities and bounce houses will be available from noon to 4 p.m. “We are bringing back Mischief and Magic for face painting and balloon animals,” Williamsen said.
Oktoberfest beers on tap includes Leinenkugel’s, Bell’s, Samuel Adams, Hacker-Pschorr, Blackrocks and Keweenaw Blueberry and Keweenaw Blonde. They also will offer a variety of traditional beers, seltzers, twisted teas and wine coolers.
“We will have three fall wines, including mulled wine Witches Brew, at the beer station as well,” Meyers said.
Traditional Bavarian food will be provided by Northside Meats and Spiro’s; along with pretzels by Dulce Nulla Gourmet Desserts, and cookies from the Velveteen Cake Co.
Cousin Mike’s Hot Dog and Catering will be on site from noon to 6 p.m. for the kids.
The DDA will have a popcorn station this year, too.
Third-shift volunteers are still needed from 8:15 to 11:30 p.m. to close out the event.
“It’s super fun — enjoy 141 North as they play, as well as free entry, drink tickets and a fun new T-shirt to our volunteers this year,” Meyers said. Those interested can go to the DDA’s website or Facebook page to sign up.
The DDA will have its Oktoberfest merchandise available, including steins, T-shirts and sweatshirts.
“This is a fundraiser — we hope as the evening cools off, they will want to purchase a sweatshirt,” said Meyers, noting they sold out at Italian Fest.
“We have brand-new color sweatshirts for Oktoberfest,” Williamsen added.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Attendees will need to purchase beverage tickets for beer, wine, pop or water. Vendors will take cash or credit/debit cards.
The festival is one of the major fundraisers for the Downtown Development Authority.
“The weather looks great so far,” Williamsen said.
“We are hoping everyone comes out in the German lederhosens and dirndls for the event,” Meyers said. “We are really looking forward the festival and enjoying community — it’s going to be a fun day.”