Heidelberg's Oktoberfest returns with full day of fun
For its second annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Heidelberg is thinking bigger, better and, the borough can only hope, more dry.
A year ago, the community's inaugural fall celebration was pushed indoors by heavy rain. Craft vendors, food booths and an ample crowd migrated from Heidelberg Park to the borough's spacious fire hall.
“Last year was probably the worst-case scenario you could have for a community event,” Heidelberg Manager Joe Kauer said.
Worst case, sure, but the events still drew close to 1,000 attendees. And there were lots of lessons for organizers.
“We have weather contingencies now,” Kauer said. “We know what times we can make weather determinations by, what we can move, what we can't move.”
Ideally, none of those plans will be needed. The sun will shine from the event's start at 1 p.m. and be just about set by the time Oktoberfest ends at 8 p.m. — setting the stage for a round of Zambelli fireworks.
In between, there's just too much planned for it all to be inside.
Kauer said the borough has 25 vendors slated for this year's event, a big jump from last year's 10. A special emphasis is on children's activities, including a petting zoo, bounce house, inflatable slide and pumpkin and face painting.
For adults, there promises to be two vital ingredients to any Oktoberfest.
Paulaner Oktoberfest is the brew on tap — with mugs on sale, as well — and Cleveland's Don Wojtila Polka Band is making a return appearance to the event. The locally famous Manfield 5 also will take to the newly-constructed mobile stage.
As long as the weather holds up, it all should make for a big day in the small community that aptly shares its name with a riverside town in southwest Germany.
“This is the big thing we fundraise for all year,” Kauer said. “If anybody can do (Oktoberfest) right in Western Pennsylvania, it's a town like this.”
Free parking lots for Oktoberfest will be located at the Heidelberg VFD on Zero Street and Petroleum Pipe Co. and Collier Foundations, both on Industry Way. Handicapped parking is in front of Heidelberg Park.
Free hayride shuttles are available from the lots.
There will be no on-street parking on Industry Way or on Jackson Street between Grant Street and Industry Way.
Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5816.