WAKEFIELD, RI – An Oktoberfest autumn festival this weekend promises to bring fun and entertainment along Main Street in Wakefield as autumn cools the waters of the nearby beach and sunbathers seek something else to TO DO.
“It’s always a great time and draws a lot of people, including some from out of town or other places in Rhode Island,” said Joe Viele, executive director of the Southern Rhode Chamber of Commerce. Island.
The annual event, now in its sixth year, features food, music and street sales at area shops on a Saturday afternoon for anyone who wants to stroll down the high street during this event that hundreds of people have attended in the past.
“Each Oktoberfest brings different attractions to downtown,” said Kenny Tetzner, owner of Phil’s Main Street Grill. “We like to mix it up every year while keeping the most popular acts and the German cuisine that people love.”
The celebration is presented by Phil’s Main Street Grill and the Contemporary Theater Company, who are asking patrons to consider donating food to the Jonnycake Center.
“We like to help create cultural events like Oktoberfest – it’s our raison d’être,” says Tammy Brown, artistic director of the Contemporary Theater Company.
“Bringing local and regional artists to the community is a fun way to celebrate everything we love about Main Street, South Kingstown and South County.”
The festival, from noon to 11 p.m., will have three stages for several bands and artists, costumed characters for children, and an authentic German biergarten with local beers, Bavarian pretzels, and bratwurst.
Most of the action will take place at the biergarten behind Phil’s Main Street Grill and on the Contemporary Theater’s outdoor stage along the Saugatucket River, where visitors can enjoy the last RiverFire of the season.
Part of Main Street, from Robinson Street to Kenyon Avenue, will be closed to vehicles from noon to 5 p.m. to make way for artisans, street performers and outside sales by downtown merchants.
Free transportation is available around downtown and Peace Dale for easy access to the fun. Tickets are $10 at the event or online at https://www.contemporarytheatercompany.com/. Children 10 and under are free.
New this year are the Sanderson Sisters, the trio of witches from the film Hocus Pocus, contestants and former winners of Wakefield Idol, and three bands – Purple Honey, who will play the classics with reggae, rock, jazz and pop, Brass Attack, the hottest horn band in southern New England, and Guess Method, Motif magazine’s Best Jam Band of 2022, which will close out the evening.
Kids can enjoy Disney’s Frozen Princesses Elsa and Anna, the Union Fire District’s Touch-a-Truck program for kids, Big Nazo puppets, costumed characters, break-dancers, bucket beaters and more Again.
The biergarten comes alive after dark, but it all starts at 1 p.m. with the traditional tapping of the keg. The event will be followed by a short parade Münchner Kindl (Child of Munich), accompanied by the Providence Drum Troupe.
The Munich Child is the longtime mascot of Oktoberfest Munich. In Germany, the mascot is a young woman in a dress on horseback holding a huge mug of beer.
In Wakefield, the Münchner Kindl will throw sweets to the crowd from a hoisted barrel.
Competitive games are also on the agenda – a traditional mug-holding contest and hands-free Bavarian pretzel tasting, among others. More tradition comes from the oompah Hofbräu Spieler Band.
Enjoy authentic bratwurst and sauerkraut, schnitzel, apple cider, sausage and peppers, pretzels and beer. Whalers Brewing Company and Chair 2 will be there, and German pilsners and wheat beers will be served on tap.
Wine will also be available. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fries and popcorn will also be offered.
Dance covers the map. Look out for SGTV Alpenblumen Schuhplattler dancers who perform traditional Bavarian steps, stomps and claps.
The TropiGals of Providence, known for their vintage tap dancing and old-school Hollywood dances, and the Ladies of the Rolling Pin, who revisited traditional English dancing and yes, with rolling pins are involved.
In 2016 the first Oktoberfest appeared in what was billed as Wakefield River Fest and Oktoberfest.
At the time, Tetzner said, “It’s going to be a lot better than the festivals we had in the past. We’ve really stepped up this year…and we’ve got something for everyone, something for the kids, something for college/URI [crowd]something for families, seniors – we catered for everyone.
In the years since, with the exception of a COVID-related cancellation one fall, Tetzner’s prediction has come true, as has another comment from him during that 2016 startup year.
“Once we have this one under our belt, [the festival] will be much easier,” to plan and organize next year, he said. “But we definitely succeeded. It’s gonna be one hell of a show. »