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Oktoberfest: Annual celebration sees growth

Dressed as Robin, Gavin Barnhart, then 6, and dressed as Batman, Hunter Dachs, then 8, spring into action during the Oktoberfest in downtown Negaunee in 2018. Festivities for the fourth annual event from noon Saturday to midnight Sunday on Iron Street include live music, beer tent, stein-holding contest, lederhosen and dirndl costume contest, kids Halloween costume contest, street vendors, and pumpkin- and face-painting station. There is a kids’ section with bounce houses and interactive games to win prizes as well. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

NEGAUNEE — It’s the time of year when straw bales, pumpkins and cornstalks line the streets of Irontown.

The Downtown Negaunee Association is hosting its fourth annual family-friendly Oktoberfest with vendor specials, German festivities and kids’ activities throughout beginning at noon on Saturday.

The event includes a kids fun zone, with bounce houses, free pumpkin painting, an activity station where kids can play games and earn prizes, and free treats to take home, event organizer Hanna Ockerman said.

Kids will even have the opportunity to show off their Halloween costumes a little early at the center music stage on Iron Street at 3 p.m.

A hot dog eating contest at 1 p.m.; a wiener dog walking parade — for anyone who wants to show off their beloved pet — will be held at 2 p.m.; and a homemade pumpkin and apple pie baking contest at 4 p.m. are all new to the event this year.

The stein-holding contest, an adult German costume contest, an outdoor biergarten, as well as other familiar themed favorites will also be included, Ockerman said.

“Local businesses will be featuring tons of specials on drink, food and product,” she said “as well as displays of German-inspired wares.”

Events for the kids will wrap up before 4 p.m. but festivities will continue into the night for adults.

“From about 3:30 to until after midnight,” Ockerman said, “the party will be continuing in local taverns.”

The celebration has gotten bigger and bigger every year, she said.

“There is just a good variety of vendors, activities and specials we can offer the community,” Ockerman said. “We get a really good crowd from Marquette County and then some.”

There is also a fall basket raffle in which 50% of the proceeds will go toward the Negaunee Public Library children’s programs with the remainder going to downtown Negaunee events, she said.

“We invite everyone to stop in and see downtown Negaunee and see what the community and local businesses can offer,” Ockerman said.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.