Stowe Rotary is bringing brews, bratwursts, beats and BMWs to the Mayo Farm events field this weekend for the organization’s 21st annual three-day Oktoberfest.
Since it began, Oktoberfest has grown from a small local event to one that draws around 4,000 people to Stowe to celebrate the harvest.
Over the course of two decades, the festival has raised more than $1 million to help local charities.
Visitors from all over Vermont, the United States and several countries show up for dancing, singing, traditional Bavarian food and local beers and ciders.
The event kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m. with Rocktoberfest, a by-donation concert highlighting local bands Bird Shot LaFunk featuring John Wilson and Company, and Dale and Darcy, an Irish bluegrass band.
The money raised from the concert will support the Stowe Fire Department, who’ll also be cooking for the event.
Even if they don’t raise enough Friday night, the rotary has committed $4,000 of its weekend profits to the fire department.
The organization will also be accepting donations to help hurricane victims in both Texas and Florida, and is working with local rotaries in each state.
Things get rolling again Saturday morning with the second annual bike parade.
Kids and families will gather at the beginning of the Stowe Rec Path behind Stowe Community Church at 9:30 a.m. to affix decorations to their bikes and then lead the way up the bike path to the main event tent.
A keg tapping — with lagers provided by von Trapp Brewing — will officially kick off festivities around 11 a.m.
“In addition to our local von Trapp Brewing Company's beer selection and Stowe Cider, we will also be serving Boar’s Head meats and food, which is a really exciting change for us,” Jennifer Colin, Stowe Rotary president, said.
“We believe folks will appreciate having that great combination of high-quality food and drink at our event.”
Another first for Stowe Rotary is the BMW Car Club of America Green Mountain Chapter’s OktoberFast — a show and let shine of German Marques cars, featuring Mike Miller of Roundel Magazine for a tech talk, and Griot’s Garage providing a car-detailing demonstration.
“We’re really excited about that,” Colin said.
The car club has invited its members and folks with German cars to attend and display their vehicles, and are expecting around 100 drivers.
Around 3 p.m., the German Marques will leave the field for about an hour and a half for a foliage drive, because what’s fall in Vermont without seeing those pops of color on the mountainside and through Smugglers’ Notch?
Stowe Rotary couldn’t put this event together without its volunteers, which include students from Green Mountain Technology and Career Center, Johnson State College, Stowe High School, Waterbury Rotary, Cambridge Rotary and Morrisville Rotary. The event requires nearly 350 volunteer timeslots to be filled, and the Rotary could still use a few more hands.
The party will run until 8 p.m. on Saturday, and then start again at 11 a.m. the next morning, running until 4 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults and seniors and $5 for ages 9 to 20; children under age 9 are admitted free with a paid family member, or $5 without.
Also on Saturday is Morrisville’s Rocktoberfest, which kicks off with the Copley Run for the Heart 5K at 10 a.m. in Oxbow Park. The 5K course will start at Oxbow Park and connect with the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. Runners will follow the Rail Trail back to Pleasant Street and then cross over to Portland Street back to the start/finish line.
A 1-mile health walk will start at 10:05 a.m., consisting of a two-lap course for walkers at Oxbow Park.
After the race, the beat goes on with live music by Seth Yacovone and The Revisitors, and a street festival featuring food and craft vendors and local breweries throughout the day. Other events include pumpkin bowling, dance performances, face painting, recycle mini-golf, street dancing, a scavenger hunt, scarecrow contest and the fifth annual Mo-Vegas Chili Cook-off.
The cook-off will be open for judging from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The registration is $10 per individual or team, per category: Meat, vegetarian or anything goes.
Registration forms and the fee can be sent to Tricia Follert, Town of Morristown, P.O. Box 748, Morrisville, VT 05661.
New this year: “peace pole” painting, and a dunking booth.
The painted Adirondack chairs that have been spread throughout Morrisville all summer will also be auctioned off.
For more information visit rocktoberfestvt.com or call Tricia Follert at 802-888-6669 ext. 231.