Oktoberfest is back and it’s bigger than ever.
After a year off due to COVID-19, the biggest event in downtown Harrodsburg returns. The festival starts Friday, Oct. 1, starting at 5 p.m. and continues through Sunday, Oct. 3.
“We have some exciting things planned this year,” said Allen Goldie, chair of the Harrodsburg First Main Street Program, which produces the free event. The fifth annual Oktoberfest will feature 13 live bands over three days. Many favorites are returning for this year’s festival, including Mike Archer, Power Play, Conch Republic and Bootsie and Funkabilly, who all play on Saturday, Oct. 2. Then there are the headliners, with 1990s cover band NVRMND playing Friday, Oct. 1, and 1980s cover band Rock Of Ages on Saturday, Oct. 2. Both bands are scheduled to start playing at 9:30 p.m.
“The music performances, stage and lighting will be nothing short of spectacular,” Goldie said. “The stage effects this year will be as good as anything you’ll see at Rupp Arena or any concert venue.”
But what, we hear you say, about the beer?
“This year we have the “War Wagon,”” Goldie said. “It’s a 20 tap beer trailer being sponsored by Eagle Distributors.”
Oktoberfest will also feature arts and crafts—everything from hand-crafted soaps and candles to jewelry to pottery—as well as more than 20 food vendors. In addition to bratwurst from the Harrodsburg Lions Club and sugar waffles from the Knights of Columbus, there will be plenty of local favorites such as Triple J&C BBQ, Hogtown Barbecue, Gotchee Hibachi, D&E Concessions, Bee’z Street Eats, the Rooster’s Whistle Coffee Company and kettle corn from Poppin’ J’s and Old Style.
“The festival will be bigger with more food, crafts, games, music and excitement,” said Goldie, who also promised some surprises as well. “If you miss it, you’ll have to hear about it!”
Goldie said they are expanding to provide more space for the carnival, with rides operated by Bluegrass Rides of Lawrenceburg.
Harrodsburg First is billing the festival as the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in Central Kentucky. Organizers hope to draw over 15,000 people to downtown Harrodsburg.
Oktoberfest began in 2016 as a celebration of Harrodsburg voting to go wet. Some local businesses were not all that excited to have Main Street blocked off but they changed their tune after an estimated 8,000 people showed up over three days. Many local restaurants say Oktoberfest is their busiest weekend of the year.
So break out your lederhosen and brush up on your conversational German. It’s time to party.
Here’s the music line up.
Friday, Oct. 1
• 5 p.m. Shane White and Company
• 6 p.m. Be Square
• 7:30 p.m. Brother Smith
• 9:30 p.m. NVRMND
Saturday, Oct. 2
• Noon. Mike Archer
• 1:15 p.m. Power Play
• 3:15 p.m. Conch Republic
• 5:15 p.m. Brother Maven
• 7:30 p.m. Bootsie and Funkability (with special guests)
• 9:30 p.m. Rock of Ages
Sunday, Oct. 3
• 1 p.m. Bluegrass Allstars
• 2 p.m. Vanguard
• 3:45 p.m. Five Below
For more information, visit oktoberfestharrodsburg.com or follow them on Facebook.