2014-09-19 / Front Page

Raise your stein!

Oktoberfest occurs Saturday in Topsham
BY DARCIE MOORE Times Record Staff


CONTRIBUTED PHOTO CONTRIBUTED PHOTO TOPSHAM

With bands, keg tossing and stein-hoisting contests and, of course, local beers and food planned for Saturday — the second Oktoberfest put on by the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber promises to be bigger, better and even tastier than last year.

This year’s Oktoberfest opens at Topsham Fairgrounds at 11 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. The fairgrounds are located just off the Coastal Connector (Route 196).

The idea for Oktoberfest came from chamber board member Bob Hutchins, who organized them for seven years for the Snowbird resort in Utah where he worked in his younger years. The event continues there today and has grown into a massive Oktoberfest, Hutchins said.

So the chamber held its first Oktoberfest last year at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Brunswick. The 21- plus event was a success the organization is building upon this year, said Carolyn Farkas-Noe, vice president of the chamber. They’ve worked to make it better, reduced admission costs and greatly increased the number of entertainers at the new venue at the Topsham Fairgrounds. They will utilize two of the new barns and a new stage, and hope to make some money from the event, which will also benefit the Brunswick- Topsham Land Trust.

Last year, some Oktoberfest participants said they wished the event had gone longer, and so Saturday’s event shall. It is being held Saturday — Sept. 20 — coinciding with the opening of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which will kick off with a parade through Munich. Hutchins said the two Oktoberfest organizers have worked out a simultcast so particpants can talk back and forth.

“We’ve incorporated some games,” Hutchins said, including the stein-hoisting contest and keg toss, as well as other games. “We have phenominal food from Sea Dog and we will also have beer, wine and soft drinks,” with specialty beers from a number of breweries.

The event wouldn’t be complete without some brew created especially for this Oktoberfest. Lively Brewing/Ebenezer’s Brewpub of Brunswick has crafted a brew named “Dunkel Stiltskin” described as a Munich Dunkel beer; and also “Buddha’s Hand” described as a hoppy American ale. These and other local and regional craft beers will be served.

“We’re excited about the fact that we’re having some really good brews. I mean, Maine Beer Company’s coming in and next year, it will be four times bigger,” Hutchins said. The event will also have a professional liquor caterer employed from the Dogfish Co. in Portland.

“There’s a full menu,” Hutchins said, with prices ranging from $3 to $10. He emphasized only people 21 and over will be allowed admission and “we will be carding,” and checking closely. No carry-ins or pets are allowed.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” Farkas-Noe said. Oktoberfest she said, “is to highlight the businesses — especially the busineses sponsoring and contributing to the event — and it’s to show what can happen in our region. We cover 16 towns, so yes, it’s to promote our business community and that this is an interesting place to live with all kinds of things to see and do.”

It’s one of the chamber’s two main fundraiser, Hutchins said. With the fairgrounds, which has built these new buildings, “it’s going to be an ideal place for fundraisers and nonprofits and arts and crafts shows.”

Attendees can listen and dance to four Maine bands performing on the fairgrounds’ new performance stage and concert lawn. In order of appearance the bands are Backlash, Vinyl Tap, the up-and-coming Maine singer-songwriter Amy Allen (Amy and the Engine), and Kilcollins.

Sea Dog Brew Pub of Topsham will provide a combination of pub fare and German food. Food items will include warm pretzels, chili, wings, cheese and meat plates, steamers, brats, pub burgers, a Goulash bowl, Spaetzle Mac & Cheese, hot dogs, smoked seafood rolls, German potato salad, and dessert, including stout brownies.

Craft vendors will also have wares available for purchase in the crafters’ gallery at the event.

Tickets are available through brown paper tickets a t www.brownpapertickets.co m/event/834883 for $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Gates open at 11 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. For more information about the Oktoberfest, visit www.oktoberfestmaine.com/.

Limited camping sites may also be available through the Topsham Fairgrounds.

Oktoberfest is sponsored by: BEK Inc., Topsham Development Inc., Topsham Fair Mall, The Highlands and Highland Green, River Landing, RE/MAX Riverside, Bill Dodge Auto Group, and the town of Topsham.

dmoore@timesrecord.com

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE through brown paper tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/834883 for $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Gates open at 11 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. For more information about the Oktoberfest, visit www.oktoberfestmaine.com/.

OKTOBERFEST IS SPONSORED by: BEK Inc., Topsham Development Inc., Topsham Fair Mall, The Highlands and Highland Green, River Landing, RE/MAX Riverside, Bill Dodge Auto Group, and the town of Topsham.

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