Celebrate German style at Newberry’s Oktoberfest
Natalie Netzel Staff Writer
NEWBERRY — Men can put on their lederhosen and women can fancy themselves up in dirndl dresses and come to downtown Newberry for the 13th annual Oktoberfest.
The all-day celebration begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and lasts until 5 p.m. The fun will continue with the first Rocktoberfest in Astwood Park at 7:30 p.m.
“This will be a very fun-filled, long day,” said Mary Alex Kopp, tourism and events coordinator for the City of Newberry. “Basically, everything opens at 10 a.m.”
Forty vendors and organizations will line Main Street and about 20 vendors will be in the Newberry Courthouse parking area. The downtown shops and restaurants will be open for business as usual, Kopp said.
The first major event is the liver nips contest and judging which the Chamber of Commerce is in charge of organizing. The liver nips contest will take place in front of Community Hall.
The contest starts at 10:30 a.m. and the judging starts at 11 a.m. The judges this year are Ernie Shealy, Mike Meadow and Amanda McNulty, host of ETV’s Making It Grow. There are 11 teams with two people per team, said Liz MacDonald with the chamber.
McNulty was in Newberry earlier this year and MacDonald said they became friends and told MacDonald she wanted to come back because she really likes Newberry.
After the liver nips judging is complete, the winners will be announced and attendees will be able to try one or all of the liver nips dishes.
The culinary stage will take over in front of Community Hall after the liver nips contest. This year, three chefs will take the stage from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Oktoberfest will welcome Wendy Steiner of Gausthaus Zur Elli in Prosperity, Nick Stocker of the Mid-Carolina Country Club and Nick Testa from Newberry College.
Kopp said each chef will have 20 to 30 minutes, similar to a Food Network show where the chef has about half an hour to prepare a meal.
Another food court will be at the upper end of Main Street where people can pick up food. To go along with the food, there will also be a Biergarten in front of the Newberry Opera House from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. sponsored by the Opera House Guild.
Renee Stubbs with the Guild said they will be selling four German beers this year: Paulaner Oktoberfest, Paulaner Salvatore, Spatan Optimator and Paulaner Hefe Weizen.
“The beers all came from Germany. It’s beer that would be sold at the original Oktoberfest in Germany,” said Stubbs.
The Opera House will give tours from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Children’s tours, a coloring table and drawings and giveaways will also be featured.
One of the giveaways is a board with the signatures of the stars who have performed at the Opera House, said Heather Hawkins with the Newberry Opera House.
To accompany the eating, drinking and Oktoberfest fun, six musicians will perform on the main stage in front of Memorial Park.
The 3 Dot Polka Band starts the fun at 10 a.m. followed by Newberry teen Codi Lester at 11:15 a.m. At noon, the Caribbean Cowboys take the stage and at 1:15 p.m., Toni Spearman plays. Spearman is a member of the S.C. Blues Hall of Fame, Kopp said. At 2:45 p.m., Bulldog Bluegrass with Jim LeBlanc graces the stage and Stillhouse ends the show at 4 p.m.
Children and families can also enjoy a free showing of Rumpelstiltskin at The Ritz on Main Street. The Newberry Community Players secured the Columbia Marionette Theater, which is offering showings at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The kids zone will be at the upper end of Main Street along with a kids craft area. A video game truck near the courthouse will have games for kids of all ages. Car buffs can also enjoy a classic car show next to Memorial Park.
When the Oktoberfest ends around 5 p.m., the first Rocktoberfest kicks off at Astwood Park on Main Street at 7:30 p.m.
“This is a free outdoor concert with two bands performing,” said Kopp. “Tom Mackell, a singer/songwriter from Charleston, opens up and the Rival Brothers of Columbia are the headliners.”
Food and beer will be available. Those wanting to drink beer will be required to show an ID for proof they are 21 or older.
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