Saline Oktoberfest To Return This Weekend

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Oktoberfest is back! The Saline Oktoberfest had to be cancelled last year because of the Coronavirus. But it will be back on September 17 and 18 welcoming anyone and everyone for beer, sausages, pretzels and family friendly community fun.

“I’m excited that it’s back this year. We took a pause last year during the Covid quarantine days. It’s a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to gather in a really festive space in downtown Saline,” Co-Chair, Rebecca Schneider, said. “All of our events will be outside, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’ll be a safe opportunity for people to get together.”

The band Atomic Radio will be providing live music Friday evening, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The band Jedi Mind Trip will be making their first ever appearance in Saline on Saturday evening. Lead singer Danny Ardyouin describes his bands sound as “fun rock” which will feature covers from old rock ‘n roll classics from the 70s through the early 90s.

“I’m looking forward to playing to a new crowd and entertaining people after a year of not playing,” Ardyouin said. He had to take over a year off because of the shutdowns resulting from the Coronavirus. “We started playing in early June. But it still feels kind of fresh because it was almost a year and two months that we were off.”

Since there is a lack of volunteers this year, not everything will be coming back. The bouncy castles will not be part of this years Oktoberfest, however. Organizers told the Sun Times News this is partially for insurance reasons and partially because Umbrella Square would be in the way. The wiener dog race will also not be happening this year.

“This year we added a German costume pageant, which is something brand new. It starts at 6:30 [on Saturday] so people should arrive between 6:00 and 6:15 at the front of the stage and check in,” Oktoberfest Co-Chair Katie Spence said. “We have some Saline celebrity guest judges. We’re giving away three different sashes based on the winners.”

An example of festive costumes from a previous year, provided by Rebecca Schneider.

The Oktoberfest will be happening in downtown Saline. But because of Umbrella Square, organizers told this newspaper that the kids’ area will be across Michigan Avenue from where it usually is.

According to Saline Main Street, you can avoid lines at the ticket booth and at the Bier Garden by signing up to pre-purchase up to three alcoholic beverages online. The cover charge will be $5 for everyone 21 and older. Anyone too young to drink will be able to get in for free. ID will be required to purchase all alcoholic beverages.

“I will be attending on both Friday and Saturday. I’m very much looking forward to the return of this event. It is an outstanding community initiative, that of course celebrates our heritage as a predominantly, although not exclusively, German-American community,” Mayor Brian Marl said. “I think I’ve attended every year and I’ve had a phenomenal time. It’s a great opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors.”

Image Credits: Rebecca Schneider

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