The Belleville Oktoberfest got a big boost last year with the Beach Boys performing on the Public Square for the city’s Bicentennial. Organizers are striving to keep the good vibrations going this weekend with several new attractions at the 35th annual celebration.
“We’re extending the Oktoberfest another block on East Main from High to Jackson. We will have a humongous tent, covering most of the block,” said Cari Frick, Oktoberfest chairman. “Everything under the tent will reflect Belleville’s German heritage — authentic German food, all German beer sold by Belleville Sister Cities, picnic tables and a second stage featuring German music.
“We’re trying to get the real Oktoberfest feel, just like they do it in Munich.”
Other new additions are a Wiener Dog Derby and a cornhole tournament. Don’t worry, though, all of your favorites will be returning, including continuous entertainment on the main stage, food and beer vendors lining downtown streets, a children’s area, 16 food vendors selling everything from gyro sandwiches to brawursts to root beer floats, and a car show.
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The dachshunds will have their ears flapping and stubby legs churning down a track set up on South Jackson Street at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Wiener dog races are hilarious,” said Kevin Dietz, race coordinator, who owns a couple of dachshunds, Zoey, a mini who will be competing, and full standard Clark, who prefers to watch. “We have 15 pre-registered and I would love to have 40 or 50 racing.”
You can sign up your pups at www.bellevilleoktoberfest.com or between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Proof of vaccination is required. Registration is $5 per dog. Prizes will be given in three categories: Cocktail Franks (16 weeks to 6 months old); Frankfurters (7 months to 4 years); and Ballpark Franks (5 years and older). DJ Andy will entertain and announce the races.
Also, there will be a costume contest and additional prizes for shortest, longest, olders and youngest Wiener Dogs.
Music on two stages will include Superjam from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday on the 2nd Stage; U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Metal Studz, 8-11 p.m Saturday, both on the Main Stage; and Uber Cool, 8:30-11 p.m. Saturday on the 2nd Stage.
At a glance
What: 25th Belleville Oktoberfest
When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday
Where: Downtown Belleville, extending down East and West Main from the Public Square
More information and a list of vendors: www.bellevilleoktoberfest.com
(M indicates Main Stage on the square; S indicates 2nd Stage, under the tent)
11 a.m. Festival and food booths open
3-6 p.m. Dave Hylla & the Good Times Band (M)
5 p.m. Opening ceremonies and tapping of the Golden Half-Barrel (M)
4-7 p.m The Sunshine Boys (S)
6-7 p.m. Ainad Drum Corp (M)
7-11 p.m. Superjam (M)
8-10:30 p.m. Rendition (S)
8 a.m-noon Car show registration ($10 entry fee)
10:30 a.m. Vintage baseball game featuring the Belleville Stags at Hough Park
11 a.m. Food booths open
11 a.m. Cornhole tournament (registration starts at 10 or register at website)
11 a.m.-noon Ainad Brass Band (S)
11 a.m.-1 p.m. U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America (M)
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free children’s area with face painting, clowns, crafts and adoptable animals from the Belleville Area Humane Society
12:30-2:30 p.m. Performances by High School German Students (S)
2 p.m. Wiener Dog Derby racing starts (registration 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
2-4 p.m. Social Remedy (M)
2-5 p.m. Dynamic Combo (S)
5-7 p.m. Blackwater Revival (M)
5:30-8 p.m. Belleville Community Band (S)
8-11 p.m. Metal Studz (M)
8:30-11 p.m. Uber Cool (S)