Oktoberfest returns Oct. 18-19

Posted By | September 13, 2019 1:28 pm

Last Updated: September 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm

By Rita M. Reali

It’s time to pull out your lederhosen, dust off that dirndl and get ready for some good old-fashioned German-style family entertainment at Crossville Oktoberfest.

Hosted by Knights of Columbus Council 8152, Crossville Oktoberfest is slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19, at the K of C grounds, 2892 Highway 70 East in Crossville.

This annual event has earned its well-deserved reputation as the Upper Cumberlands’ premier German-American festival. A favored attraction among autumn visitors to the area, many folks also enjoy some cool-weather golf, hiking or other outdoor activities. Last year’s event drew nearly two thousand revelers from all over Tennessee, plus folks from as far away as Indiana and Michigan.

Event co-chair John Peaslee says this will be the organization’s 29th annual festival. “It’s going to be a great time. But then again, it always is,” he said. “The food, the music and dancing – all great. And the people who come out to enjoy Crossville Oktoberfest every year make it a terrific event.

“And the beer,” he added. “Let’s not forget the beer.”

Fellow co-chair Denny Roy agreed that’s one of the highlights of Crossville Oktoberfest. He noted there’ll be no shortage of domestic and imported brews to choose from.

“We’ll have a wide selection of beers,” Mr. Roy asserted. “We switch it up from year to year. Keep a few favorites, and offer some new things, just to keep things interesting.”

A variety of soft drinks will also be available for sale.

The festivities begin at 11:30 Friday morning with the ceremonial tapping of the keg, and the designation of the festival’s Lord and Lady Mayor, whose identities are kept a strict secret until the start of the ceremony. Many attendees plan their arrival in conjunction with the opening cere-monies.

And even if it happens to be bad weather, that won’t be able to put a damper on the festive atmosphere. Crossville Oktoberfest is a rain-or-shine festival, with all activities taking place beneath enormous tents set up on the grounds.

The venue itself is hung with blue-and-white Oktoberfest banners, and adorned with straw bales and baskets of colorful chrysanthemums. Add in the tantalizing aroma of traditional German cuisine and you’ve got yourself a nearly irresistible event.

So, what kind of food will be on the menu?

“Oh, you want good German food?” Mr. Peaslee asked. “Then you’ve got to check out the offerings at Crossville Oktoberfest. We’ll have a choice of five different entrées – pork schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, and three different kinds of sausages. Then there’s sauerkraut, red cabbage and spaetzle with gravy, plus bread and butter and dessert.”

Dessert comes in the form of traditional German chocolate cake or cheesecake.

“No one goes hungry at Oktoberfest,” Mr. Peaslee crowed. “No one.”

A full meal (entrée, three sides and dessert) is $10; kids’ meals (hot dog, chips and dessert) are $5. All menu items are available a la carte, so if you want the pork schnitzel dinner and decide you also want to splurge on a weisswurst (a Bavarian sausage), you’re in luck.

Plus, there will be plenty of free peanuts and popcorn for between-meal snacking.

And if you want to work off a few calories from all that good German food, you’ll want to stick around for the dancing. Crossville Oktoberfest features three authentic German bands – the Rheingold Band, the Frank Moravcik Band and the Crossville-based Bavarian Echo – performing from 11:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. both nights.

Admission at the gate is $7.50. Children under 14 get in free. Active-duty military personnel and veterans (with proper identification) also get in free – as do designated drivers. Advance single-day admission tickets are available for $6 apiece at these local businesses: Best One Tire & Auto on Main Street, both Cancun Mexican Restaurant locations, Sears of Crossville, The Lace Place & Chocolate Emporium, Romo’s Mexican Restaurant, Crossville Heating & Cooling, Physicians’ As-sociates and Star Realty.

For additional information, reservations, to purchase advance tickets (via PayPal) or to find out how to be a Crossville Oktoberfest sponsor, visit www.CrossvilleOktoberfest.com. If you have questions, email info@crossvilleoktoberfest.com or call (423) 799-0229.

Credit and debit cards will be accepted at the gate and at all food and beverage stations.

A guide to Oktoberfest eats

Pork Schnitzel – a thin, tenderized breaded pork loin, fried and served plain or with gravy

Chicken Schnitzel – a tenderized chicken breast fillet, breaded, fried and served plain or with gra-vy

Smoked Bratwurst – a Northern German pork sausage

Knackwurst – a Northern German sausage made from ground pork, ground veal and fresh garlic

Weisswurst – a traditional Bavarian sausage made of minced veal and back bacon

Spaetzle – buttered egg noodles, served with or without gravy

Red Cabbage – tangy pickled cabbage

Sauerkraut – a traditional German-style side dish, made of shredded and fermented green cabbage, frequently prepared with bacon for a distinctive flavor.

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