Northwest Ohio’s German heritage will be celebrated in downtown Findlay when the Hancock Historical Museum hosts Oktoberfest Saturday, Sept. 28 from 2-10:30 p.m.
The festival, held on the 300-400 block of South Main Street, features live German music, polka dancing, German food and drink, contests, kids activities and more.
Two Ohio musical acts will perform during the festival. Aaron Dussing and Polka Revolution will perform from 2-6 p.m. The group, from Chardon, features Aaron Dussing, a vocalist who can sing in eight languages and specializes in yodelling, and Polka Revolution, a band that specializes in German polka.
Fred Ziwich and The International Sound Machine, a veteran and celebrated polka act from Cleveland, will close out the festival from 6:30-10:30 p.m. The group received the Grammy Award in the polka category in 2007, and Ziwich was inducted into the International Polka Hall of Fame in 2017.
Three separate contests will be held throughout the festival intermittently. A bratwurst eating contest will be held at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Participants will compete to see who can eat and keep down the most bratwurst in 15 minutes.
A stein endurance contest will start at 4:30 p.m., with competition taking place every 30 minutes. Steinholding, or masskrugstemmen, requires participants to hold a full, one-liter stein for as long as possible, testing both strength and endurance.
A team beer endurance race will star at 4:45 p.m., with competition taking place every 30 minutes. Teams of four people will each drink a 16-ounce Findlay Brewing Co. Oktoberfest beer — the official beer sponsor of Oktoberfest — and compete for the fastest time amongst participating teams. One team will compete during each time slot.
Authentic German and other food will be provided by area eateries, with the official bratwurst of the festival provided by Saums Market. Other food vendors will include Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, Wurst und Bier, Kona Ice, Shepherd’s Kettlecorn and more. There will be over 40 different varieties of German beer and wine for those over the age of 21.
The full schedule of events is as follows:
• 2 p.m. — Gates and stands open
• 2-6 p.m. — Aaron Dussing & Polka Revolution
• 2-6 p.m. — Children’s activities at Dorney Plaza
• 4 p.m. — Tapping of the keg & parade
• 4:30-9:30 p.m. — Stein endurance contest (every 30 minutes)
• 4:45-9:15 p.m. — Team beer endurance race (every 30 minutes)
• 6:30-10:30 p.m. — Fred Ziwich and his International Sound Machine
• 6:30 p.m. — Brat eating contest
• 8:30 p.m. — Brat eating contest
• 9:30 p.m. — Final awards on contest stage
• 10 p.m. — Stands close
• 10:30 p.m. — Gates close
For more information about the festival’s schedule and participating acts and vendors, visit hancockhistoricalmuseum.org/oktoberfest/.