By SALINA POST
Abilene event organizers are finishing the last-minute preparations for the 6th Annual Oktoberfest. The family-friendly event is free to enter and will take place from Sept. 15-16 in downtown Abilene.
Jamie Greening, Abilene Oktoberfest organizer, said Friday night will have more activities than in previous years.
The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with activities, vendors, and performances by the Lazy Wayne Band. The Large Festival will kick off Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with live music and dancers from the KC Blautaler Schuhplattler performing throughout the day.
At 5 p.m. Abilene's Mayor, Trevor Witt, along with all festival vendors, will tap the keg and start the Oktoberfest ceremony.
“This year we actually expanded from last year. We have more food vendors, crafts and Bier Gardens. Our children's section has games, bouncy houses, and train rides. Each year we are growing in numbers and activities," Greening said.
Heidi Anderson, Abilene Oktoberfest organizer, said thanks to the support of their sponsors, Abilene Oktoberfest is considered one of the most authentic celebrations in Kansas.
Greening said thanks to community support the event organizing group is looking at possibly making it a three-day event in the future.
Event sponsors include Kansas Best Realty and Marshall Motors-along with numerous local businesses and support from the City of Abilene.
Expanding its footprint from last year, Abilene Oktoberfest will take place at Little Ike Park on 3rd and Spruce Street in Abilene. Greening said it will be double the space they had for last year's event and they are expecting a larger crowd.
"Last year we had visitors from about 10 different states," Greening said.
6 p.m. - Festival Begin with bounce houses, barrel train, food, drinks and vendors
7 p.m. - Lazy Wayne Band on main stage
1 p.m. - Festival Opens
2 p.m. - Cornhole Tournament
3 p.m. - Hammerschlagen Competition
4 p.m. - Blautaler Schuhplattler of Kansas City performs
4:30 p.m. - Keg Races
5:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremony with tapping of the keg by Mayor Trevor Witt
6 p.m. - Blautaler Schuhplattler of Kansas City Performs
7 p.m. - Stein Hoisting Competition
7:30 p.m. - Blautaler Schuhplattler of Kansas City performs
8:30 p.m. - Paramount 80’s Band