A smack of a mallet thrusts a tap into a firkin, the first brew flows from it to fill a ceramic stein and Mifflinburg’s Oktoberfest is underway.

The opening sequence won’t veer from tradition when the 15th annual celebration of the borough’s German heritage opens Friday at 1 p.m. at the V.F.W. carnival grounds on the west end of town.

The two-day fundraiser hosted by Mifflinburg Heritage and Revitalization Association (MHRA) runs 1 to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service forecast predicts an uneventful pattern of partial cloud cover and cool, comfortable temperatures into the 60s.

That’s a far cry from the event’s inaugural go-around.

An inland hurricane arrived in 2005 and parked itself over the Mid-Atlantic, chairman Larry Mitchell remembered.

“We had one little tent, five kegs of beer,” Mitchell said. “It was a success for what it was, our first go.”

New to Oktoberfest this year is the inclusion of craft vendors, a 24-ounce limited edition anniversary stein, hooded sweatshirts, miniature beer stein shooters and an expanded presence by the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum as its volunteers sell snacks, hayrides and raffles to benefit the nonprofit.

Oktoberfest 2019 features a beer list of seven German imports: Spaten Lager, Spaten Dark, Franziskaner Wheat Beer, Hoffbrau Oktoberfest, Hoffbrau Dark, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner Oktoberfest. Mifflinburg’s Rusty Rail Brewing Company will serve its own Oktoberfest-style beer alongside its Blue Collar Blonde and Wanderlust.

Those with a taste for wine will find Shade Mountain Winery of Middleburg on site. As always, designated drivers get free birch beer.

A dozen food vendors will serve a mix of festival staples and German fare: sausage and knackwurst, mini-pizza and schnitzel, brisket and potato cakes, soft pretzels and alcohol-infused cupcakes.

Five live acts will perform traditional German Oompah music, plus polka. Guests can register for competitions in keg toss, mug lift and corn hole.

Heidi Criswell, executive director, MHRA, said the event is a major fundraiser to back community programming at Elias Center for Performing Arts in the borough.

“Everything we do to continue our programs is raised by us. The focus is to maintain the Elias Center, which is where a lot of this money ends up,” Criswell said.

The carnival grounds are along Route 45, a road surely well-traveled as Penn State fans travel to State College for the Nittany Lions game versus Purdue Boilermakers. Oktoberfest offers fans after the game a free beer ticket with every stub from the game.

Entry into the festival is free. Find a full list of events, merchandise, sponsors and corn hole registration at www.mifflinburgpa.com/oktoberfest.

Recommended for you