The Village of Williamsville plays host to Oktoberfest Sept. 26-28 at Island Park and restaurants throughout the village. The German festival kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a parade down Main Street featuring a horse-drawn wagon carrying the ceremonial "first keg," Mercedes Benz vehicles, The Dachshund Associate (Weiner Dogs), Miss Oktoberfest contestants and more.
The parade commences at the Lehigh Valley Train Station on South Long Street and ends on Island Park (behind Village Hall). Village Mayor Brian Kulpa will tap the first keg, which is free to the public. The beer tent with live music by The Frankfurters is open from 4 p.m. till midnight.
Numerous restaurants are participating in the festivities by offering authentic German cuisine and live music throughout the weekend. The Sam Adams "Hoist Off" competition runs throughout the weekend, as well. Contestants are challenged to hoist a full mug of Sam Adams beer in their outstretched arm for as long as they can. First rounds of competition occur Saturday at The Pizza Plant (2 p.m.), Sorrentinos (3:30 p.m.) The Irishman (5 p.m.), Parings Wine Bar (6:15 p.m.), Milos (7:30 p.m.), The Eagle House (9 p.m.) and under the beer tent sponsored by The Glen Park Tavern and Creekview Restaurants (10:30 p.m.). Winners from first rounds go on to compete for trips to Boston, courtesy of Sam Adams.
Finals for the female division will be Sunday at noon, with the male division during halftime of the Bills game, which will be being shown on the big screen under the beer tent on Island Park. One winner from each division will win a trip for two.
Saturday events begin at 8 a.m. at the farmers market on Spring Street. "The Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off" follows at 11 a.m. at The Irishman. A free trolley will run up and down Main Street from noon until 4 p.m. and take festivalgoers to each of the craft and entertainment stations.
Children can participate in a variety of German traditions through free crafts and activities sponsored by village businesses. A magician, a caricature artist, a balloon artist and more also will be part of the route.
Families are asked to register for crafts in front of the library. Each station will accommodate up to 100 children (ages 3-12 years). Supplies are limited and the activities will run from noon-4 p.m.
"The Great German Dessert Bake-Off" will be held at Sweet Jenny's at the Mill. Entries should be dropped off between 1:30 and 2 p.m. The winner will get $50 in "Villabucks" (gift certificates to Williamsville Business Association member businesses.)
The fun in Island Park continues with food and music, a craft show and a Mercedes Benz exhibition. Festival organizers are calling for participants in the keg-rolling contest (3:30 p.m.) and "The Big Chicken Dance" (5 p.m.). Live music under the tent runs throughout the day beginning at 12:30 p.m. with Die Auslanders, The Bergholz German Band at 4 p.m. and Hit and Run at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, festivalgoers can enjoy the Buffalo Bills game against the San Diego Chargers on the big screen under the beer tent for a giant tailgate party and halftime activities. Tailgate party delicacies will be available from The Golden Parachute Restaurant and Catering Co. and AppleWood Café.
Miss Oktoberfest will be crowned at 11 a.m. Contestants will be judged on academics and community involvement. High school females are encouraged to apply online at www.WillVill.com. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to the winner.
For the most up-to-date information, visit www.OktoberfestWilliamsville.com.