Amana’s Oktoberfest is one of the midwest’s oldest and best loved German festivals. Here are 10 reasons why we love Oktoberfest.
1. Ein Prosit Baby! This will be our 52nd Oktoberfest, so raise a glass in the Festhalle with us. In addition to several out of state, big-name German show bands, we’re proud to have our own homegrown, colony musicians and folk dancers performing again at Oktoberfest. Amana’s New Colony Folk Singers will take the stage Friday at 7 p.m and expect the unexpected with this folk group performing a one-hour show. We have insider’s intel that they are practicing a bit of Bavarian dancing that should knock your socks off. Then stay for Amana’s Die Tiefen Keller Kinder, the best German show band in five states. They pull out all the stops for Amana Oktoberfest.
2. The Food – think hefty pork trotters on a bed of kraut, sizzling bratwurst and locally crafted wines and beers. For the full festival experience check out the Festhalle’s food tent. For caramel apples, warm pretzels, sugared popcorn and freshly roasted almonds tossed with sugar, hit the street checking out the restaurants, cafes, food shops and pop-up vendors. Bring your appetites! Here’s more good news: both beverage bars at the Festhalle will be expanded with all new equipment for even faster service at the Festhalle.
3. The Music – Oktoberfest is welcoming back some of our all-time favorite bands, including Milwaukee’s legendary Alpensterne and the always dynamic Alte Kameraden. Hey, don’t miss seeing Barefoot Becky and Her Dutchmen. The music begins at the Festhalle at 11 a.m. on Friday with the annual keg tapping ceremony at 2 p.m. (free beer till the keg runs dry) and the music continues in the Festhalle entertainment tent through Sunday afternoon.
4. Toss that Keg! Test your strength at our little Colony Olympics. There’s “Brezel Schmeissen” a team competition pretzel throw like none other, brat eating, keg tossing, log sawing, nail driving and the always inspiring “Eisenmann” competition for the heavy-hitters. The games take place on Saturday starting at 12:45 p.m. at the Market barn (across from the Festhalle). Sign up at the Market barn before hand. The Timber Trek 4.8 mile run is a challenging obstacle course with creek crossings, plenty of logs to leap and more. Sign up at corridorruning.com. The run starts at noon at the Amana Colonies RV Park.
5. Don you Lederhosen. We are proud of our German heritage. Anyone and everyone who has a pair of lederhosen and/or a dirndle is encouraged to wear them (though not at the same time). During Oktoberfest in Amana we’re all Bavarians.
6. The Shopping – Many merchants welcome pop-up craft vendors and special exhibitors, while Catiri’s Art Oasis hosts an exhibit of new work by painter Gordon Kellenberger. Plus look for the open air antique markets at Amana’s antique shops. Ackerman Winery has surprises planned for Oktoberfest.
7. The Ronneburg’s Front Lawn – After the parade Saturday join your friends on the front lawn of the Ronneburg Restaurant in Amana as they offer a delicious menu of festival foods, beverages and entertainment featuring Barefoot Becky! This is a longtime Oktoberfest tradition at one of Amana’s long-time favorite restaurants.
8. The Party at Millstream Brewing Company has three days of entertainment planned with multiple bands scheduled including the Barry Boyce Band and those Iowa Hall of Famers, the rock-pop band, Dogs on Skis. There will be brats on the grill and their very own, whiskey-barrel aged Oktoberfest brew to enjoy.
9. Kids Stuff – There’s activities for the kids at Oktoberfest. Check out the “pony-go-round”, the inflatables and pick up an Oktoberfest brochure detailing all weekend events including those for kids.
10. Don’t Let the Parade Pass You By – At 10:00 a.m. on Saturday gather on Amana’s main street for the annual Oktoberest parade. This year’s theme – “The Schnitzelbank”, so we’ll have floats spoofing or celebrating one of our favorite German folk songs.Amana’s Oktoberfest if Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 5-7. Check out festivalsinamana.com for more information as it becomes available.
-Article by Emilie Hoppe in the late summer Willkommen 2018 – used with permission.