Oktoberfest coming to I.M.
IRON MOUNTAIN — You can almost taste the beer and pretzels, as the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority gets ready to host its annual Oktoberfest on Saturday.
The Bavarian-themed autumn celebration will run from noon to 10 p.m. in the city parking lot at the intersection of East A and Iron Mountain streets. This year’s signature Oktoberfest sponsor is First National Bank & Trust.
“This is one of my favorite events — it’s so much fun,” DDA Event Coordinator Kenzie Williamsen said. “We have added and changed up a few things up a little this year.”
The Twin Lakes Trio will kick off the festivities with polka tunes at noon. The group from Slinger, Wis., known as the “small band with a big sound” will play for the crowd until 4 p.m.
The Descendants of the Hermansville area take the stage from 5 to 9 p.m., performing a variety of music from classic rock to country.
“I feel the two make for the perfect entertainment lineup — bringing the authentic German music and The Descendants is a local favorite,” she said.
Back by popular demand are the German-inspired games that will take place from 4 to 5 p.m.
Contestants can test their strength with the stein-holding competition, with the overall winner receiving their own beer boot, or “bierstiefel” in German. Each heat winner will need to be present for the championship round at 4:45 p.m.
The DDA will also crown a new Ms. Oktoberfest. They are seeking three to six contestants to compete before a panel of judges for best dirndl, or German outfit; beer palate, where they will identify Oktoberfest beers through a blind taste test; and German pronunciation, where they will pronounce three German words.
There is no cost to compete in the events but contestants need to be at least 21 years old. No pre-registration is required to take part.
Hammerschlagen — in which participants try to hammer a nail into a tree stump in one strike — is returning to the event, Williamsen said.
It wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest without German cuisine and spirits. Four Season Distributors will again offer several German varieties as well as popular selections.
“The DDA received a number of requests to add more non-alcoholic beverage options that evening,” Williamsen said. “We worked with Bink’s Wines to bring Liquid Death Water.”
Local vendors Millie’s Market and Curious Pig will provide a variety of authentic dishes, including big Bavarian pretzels. “They will both have German desserts as well,” Williamsen added.
The children’s area, which will include children’s games, bounce houses and slides from ACA Jumps, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. The DDA has been able to extend the time with the sponsorship from CCI Systems.
When the children’s area comes down, it’s time for the adults to have some fun, Williamsen said.
They will set up tables for fest-goers to play adult games, including beer pong and flip cup.
Oktoberfest raffle baskets are sponsored by 41 Lumber. All gift baskets will have a gift or gift certificates from 41 Lumber.
Tickets are $10 for single entry or $20 for three. Winners will be announced at the event. Those not present will be contacted on Monday and have the rest of the week to pick up their baskets at the DDA office.
The DDA will offer the new 2023 steins, as well as last year’s, for $10 at the event.
“We sold 170 last year — it was so cool to see everyone with their mugs up to prost,” she said.
Those attending are encouraged to come dressed in dirndls and lederhosen to add to the fun.
Admission is $10 at the entrance, with ages 12 and younger allowed in for free.
Williamsen noted they still need volunteers. Anyone willing to donate their time will receive free admission and food and drink vouchers for festival vendors.
“They will be able to enjoy the festival on us,” Williamsen added.
Oktoberfest is made possible through the generous support of these sponsors: First National Bank & Trust, CCI Systems, Tourism Association of Dickinson County Area, Northern Interstate Bank, 41 Lumber, Radio Results Network, DTE Energy and Midway Rentals and Sales.
All proceeds benefit the Iron Mountain DDA that works to promote local businesses, economic development, historic preservation and the revitalization of Iron Mountain’s downtown district.
“We are pretty excited — it’s a perfect time to get out before winter strolls in,” Williamsen said. “We had great weather last year, so we are hoping for the same this year.”
For information about Oktoberfest or to volunteer, call 906-774-8534 or go to downtownironmountain.com/oktoberfest/.
The next DDA event will be the Pumpkin Walk planned for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.