BERLIN – A modified Oktoberfest will allow visitors to enjoy traditional food and drink while exploring all that downtown Berlin has to offer.
As COVID-19 remains a concern, officials in Berlin have adjusted the town’s annual Oktoberfest and fall sidewalk sale set for Saturday, Oct. 17. While the event will go on, food and drink tents will be spread throughout the downtown and will not be centralized as they have been in the past.
“This is more of a mingle and move event to keep people enjoying the entire town,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.
Based on the success of Peach Day, the first event held in town since the onset of the pandemic, Wells said organizers figured out ways to alter Oktoberfest so that it could still be held.
“We wanted the community to be able to come out and enjoy a day downtown,” Wells said.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors are invited to celebrate Oktoberfest in Berlin with traditional food such as pretzels, brats and German chocolate cake. Popular Oktoberfest music will played by Ocean98 DJ Big Al Reno. Tents will be set up across the downtown area by participating eateries, which include Baked Dessert Café, the Atlantic Hotel, J&M Meat Market & Grille, Gilbert’s Provisions and Island Creamery. Outdoor bars will be set up at the Atlantic Hotel and Fins while The Buzz Meadery will be set up next to Baked Dessert Café serving Apple Cysers (apple cider made with honey).
In addition, artist booths will be set up on Artisans Green, the grassy area near Health Freedom & HOUSE.
Wells hopes visitors will spend the day moving between tents and shops, enjoying Berlin while maintaining the social distance needed during the pandemic.
“The weather looks great for Saturday,” she said. “We’ve reconfigured it and were as resourceful as we could be.”
Streets will not be closed for Saturday’s event. To provide more space for the sidewalk sale, on-street parking will be prohibited. Attendees are encouraged to park their vehicles at Stephen Decatur Park and walk to Main Street.
Following this weekend’s event, the town is expected to host live music on Nov. 13 for Second Friday in Berlin. Musicians will be featured on Commerce Street, at the Atlantic Hotel, the Harvest Guitar Shop and Sisters Wine Bar. On Nov. 27, though the town will not hold its traditional tree lighting ceremony, Berlin will feature ice sculptures throughout town as holiday shopping is encouraged. Wells said the town is also planning a new “Light Up Berlin” holiday home light display contest.