Elkhorn’s Oktoberfest to feature bands, brats and beers

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

One of the premiere fall events in the area is Elkhorn’s Oktoberfest, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. Since it falls on Oct. 16, it’s also the golden annual event, according to organizers.

“This family friendly event will be an outdoor festival that family and friends can enjoy while maintaining social distancing and safety measures,” Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce staff said.

The event will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, in downtown Elkhorn.

One of the main changes this year is that rather than just a street on one block being closed, four one-block sections will be closed for Oktoberfest – east and west Walworth and north and south Wisconsin streets.

Open carry of alcoholic beverages has been approved and goes along with the beer and wine tasting, which will keep the new format started last year of local businesses hosting the tastings in an effort to support those businesses, get people in their doors and provide an opportunity for guests to explore the downtown Elkhorn area.

For those planning to partake in the tasting, glasses are $5 and tastings are $1 each. One ticket will be required for one tasting while five tickets are needed for a full 16 oz. pour of tap beer or a 12 oz. bottle or can.

Maps showing the beer and wine tasting locations will be distributed at the Elkhorn Chamber booth, which will be at the center of the Walworth/Wisconsin intersection.

According to chamber representatives, attendees can again expect to see Veterans Park filled with craft and commercial vendors.

There will be a variety of local and German cuisine available for purchase, as live music on the fest’s stage featuring D’Lite Duo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and The Spectaculars from 2 to 5 p.m.

“Walk the line and enjoy local and German cuisine from a variety of food vendors,” they said.

Young Oktoberfest fans can join in on the fun, too, as there will be a bounce house on Wisconsin Street in front of Friends on the Square, and face painting one block south on the corner of Walworth and Wisconsin.

“Needless to say, there will be lot to keep the whole family entertained and enough space to keep everyone safe,” staff said.

There will not be a chili cook-off this year, however, the Elkhorn Lions Club will be serving chili and have “all the fixins” available.

Other activities happening during Oktoberfest include the 5K Run/Walk as well as a classic car show.

Start with a run or walk

The 5K run and 2-mile walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. and welcomes competitors of all ages and levels and offers a live event as well as a remote option.

The live event will take off from the Oktoberfest site near the stage – with the route going through town and the Walworth County Fairgrounds before making its way back to downtown.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. that day and for the 5K for adults it’s $35; for students in grades K-12, it’s $20. Early packet pickup will be offered from 4 to 6 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 15, at the Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office, 203 E. Walworth St. in Elkhorn.

Participants will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt and a goodie bag. Awards will be given to the top finishers in each age group.

Adults 21 and older will also receive free admission to Oktoberfest’s beer and wine tasting; those younger than the age of 21 will be given root beer.

To register for the run/walk, or for more information about the event, visit oktoberfest.5k.run.

Car show

This year will feature the 12th Annual Classic Car Show, held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be set up on East Walworth and down the east side of Wisconsin.

There is no pre-registration and space is limited on a first come, first served basis. The first 75 entries will receive dash plaques and there is a Peoples Choice award.

While there is no fee to enter the car show, the suggested donation is $5 or five non-perishable food items – which will go to the Elkhorn Food Pantry.

The other major event held in conjunction with Oktoberfest is the unveiling of this year’s Christmas card. Elkhorn is known as Christmas Card Town and each year a new card is designed.

The chamber relies on many volunteers throughout the day in several capacities. Those interested in getting involved are asked to contact the Elkhorn at 262-723-5788.


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