This year will mark Lovettsville Councilman Jim McIntyre’s fifth season overseeing the town’s signature event—Oktoberfest—kicking off Friday, Sept. 23, and running through Sunday, Sept. 25.
The German-themed festival has expanded this year—crossing Berlin Turnpike to a new event area on the Town Green and Town Square.
“The goal is to bridge the old and new parts of town, make it a celebration of history, past and present—that’s the biggest change,” McIntyre said. That has been a goal ever since the Town Center development was first proposed more than a decade ago, and it is perhaps fitting that Oktoberfest will be the mechanism that will achieve it.
There will be live entertainment at the Walker Pavilion on the Town Green in addition to the main stage, and, while the main beer garden will remain on Pennsylvania Avenue, an ancillary beer tent will be on the green. The Town Green also will hold the “kinderfest,” or children’s fair, including carnival-style games, a ring toss, pony rides, a rock-climbing wall, bounce houses, face painting, henna artists and food.
Broad Way will be open to traffic this year and street vendors will line Pennsylvania Avenue and stretch through Town Square. The main tent will be next to Town Hall, featuring food prepared by the Game Club and by the Lovettsville/Waterford Ruritans, while beer and cider will be poured by the Lovettsville Lions, and the wine by Lovettsville Cooperative Market.
McIntyre said apart from adding new attractions and expanding the festival area, attention also has been paid to beefing up the internal operations of the fair.
“We’ve grown so fast, and now we’ve done that,” McIntyre said, noting beer consumption at Oktoberfest has doubled every year. Last year’s crowds were estimated at around 10,000, in contrast to his initial year of around 4,000.
There is no admission fee; kinderfest, the entertainment and parking are free, with continuous shuttles from the community park and the Lovettsville Game Club.
McIntyre praised the generosity of the event’s sponsors and the town’s support, as well as his all-volunteer organizing committee.
“The ever-increasing involvement of volunteers and especially of our civic organizations has been, for me, one of the most exciting parts of the festival,” he said.
See a full schedule and a list of sponsors at lovettsvilleoktoberfest.com.