After a year’s hiatus, Powell area residents will once again have the chance to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Thanks to the work of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Olentangy, the two-day event returns this weekend, opening on Friday evening and continuing all day on Saturday at Village Green Park in downtown Powell. Festivities will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
While it’s not the first time Oktoberfest has been celebrated in Powell, it is the first year that the Rotary Club has staged it.
“Oktoberfest started in 2014 and it was very successful,” said Jerry Douglas, a member of the Rotary Club of Olentangy and chairman of Oktoberfest. “Another group called Heart of Powell had it at that time. From estimates, about 8,000 people came. It was very successful and we had a great time.”
Inclement weather put a damper on the 2015 edition of Powell Oktoberfest, Douglas said. In 2016, leaders from the City of Powell asked the Rotary Club to take the reins of the festival, but Douglas said members determined they didn’t have enough time to organize it and decided to wait until this year.
“We’ve got an 8,000-square foot tent that we’re going to use for a beer garden,” Douglas said. “So, if it does rain, the event will be on, rain or shine. You can come in the tent if it does rain. That park is so great. We’ll have a lot of things going on there.”
The elements shouldn’t have an adverse effect on this year’s event, according to the National Weather Service. The forecast for Powell on Friday is calling for partly sunny skies and a high of 71 degrees, with cooler temperatures in the evening. The Saturday forecast is calling for more of the same, partly sunny and a high of 66 degrees.
Douglas said Friday evening at Oktoberfest is a ticketed event. The ticket — $35 in advance, $40 at the door — gives the purchaser four craft beer samples or four wine samples as well as food from the Powell area vendors participating in the festival. Sixteen types of craft beer and 16 types of wine will be on hand. To order tickets and see a complete schedule of activities, visit www.powelloktoberfest.com.
Columbus area musician David Sabatka is scheduled to perform German music, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Comedian Jeff Robinson hits the stage at 8:30 p.m. Comedian and magician David McCreary will be “roaming the crowd and performing,” according the Powell Oktoberfest website.
Admission is free at Oktoberfest on Saturday, Douglas said. Gates open at 11 a.m. Activities include the official tapping of the first keg, a cornhole tournament, cream puff eating contest, yodeling contest, a stein hoist, and polka dance lessons.
Events for children will be provided by Preservation Parks, the Liberty Township/Powell YMCA, the Liberty High School German National Honor Society, and members of the Rotary Club.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Music Masters; The McIans; Blood, Sweat and Beers; and Bent to the Left.
Douglas said the Rotary Club of Olentangy celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. The club has donated $490,000 to community organizations during its history, he said.
“We support (People In Need Inc. of Delaware County), several programs with their school supplies, shoes. We help at Christmas time,” he said. The club is also supporting the Turning Point domestic violence shelter in Delaware County, donating $25,000 to sponsor a room in the facility and helping to purchase kitchen appliances.
For information about the club, visit olentangyrotaryclub.org.