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Oktoberfest Returns Friday, Sept. 29

Beats, Bites And Brews In Downtown Harrodsburg

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Skol ya’ll! Dennis and Nancy Ginn toasted downtown Harrodsburg at Oktoberfest last year. The three day free festival returns from Friday, Sept. 29, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The seventh annual Oktoberfest returns to transform downtown Harrodsburg into a little slice of Bavaria starting Friday, Sept. 29, and running through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Beats, bites and brews are featured at Oktoberfest, which is billed as the biggest event of its kind in Central Kentucky. The three day festival draws as many as 15,000 people to downtown Harrodsburg, according to the Harrodsburg First Main Street Program. Visitors are drawn by free concerts as well as local beers, specialty foods and family fun.

Oktoberfest has more than 20 beers on tap plus specialty cocktails, wine and seltzers. There will also be local food vendors and restaurants serving up traditional German fare and festival style treats, artists and vendors on the street and free family fun. On Friday, Sept. 29, there will be Kids Zone at Harrodsburg Baptist Church (312 South Main Street), from 6 to 9 p.m., with games and activities and a secure check-in for kids.

The Kinderland Inflatable Park happens on Chiles Street Saturday, Sept. 30, from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 1, from noon to 6 p.m. In addition to the inflatable park with activities and obstacle courses, there will also be a Health and Wellness Fair and Story Time with Miss Kentucky on Saturday evening.

“We’re bringing back the second stage at the top of Main Street,” said Hannah Beth Turner of the Oktoberfest committee. Turner said they are featuring even more live music, including includes 80s and 90s covers, rock, country, funk, jazz and even what she called oompah music.

Nearly two dozen live musical acts will be playing on two stages. NVRMND: A Throwback to the ’90s headlines Friday, while Radio 80 headlines Saturday and the Bedford Band close out the festival on Sunday.

There will be a lot of local favorites playing at the After Parties this year, including the Five Below Band, who are scheduled to start at 11:30 p.m. Friday, and LBP Country Music, who are scheduled to start at 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

On Sunday, the Harrodsburg Baptist Church will host a Sunday worship service on the main stage starting at 10:30 a.m.

New this year is the Oktoberfest 5K Run and Walk, which happens on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 a.m. at Anderson-Dean Community Park (1501 Louisville Road). There will also be a Cornhole Tournament with cash prizes Saturday at 3 p.m. The tournament is a fund raiser for CAFCA Cares.

Radio 80, will headline Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 30. The returning favorites are scheduled to take the stage at 9:45 p.m.

Oktoberfest was the first festival to sell beer since Harrodsburg went wet in 2016 and is now widely considered the biggest day of the year for local businesses, whose biggest complaint now is that the festival doesn’t happen more often.

In addition, there will be food trucks, including local favorites such as Triple J&C BBQ, the Scoop, the Swinery, Bee’z Street Eats and many others. Local groups such as the Harrodsburg Lion’s Club will be selling brats while the Knights of Columbus will be selling sugar waffles.

Call Transport on Demand to book a safe driver to and from the event. The number is 859-396-6459.

So break out your lederhosen and brush up on your conversational German. It’s time to party.

Event: Seventh Annual Oktoberfest

Where: Downtown Harrodsburg (120 South Main Street).

When: Friday, Sept. 29, 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, Oct. 1, noon to 6 p.m.

Learn more: Visit or their Facebook page @Oktoberfest Harrodsburg 2023 or call 859-734-6811.

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