A German Market and a test of beer-drinkers’ strength are the newest additions to Hays’ Oktoberfest on Friday.
The German Market, which opens at 7 a.m. south of the North Central Kansas Technical College Big Creek campus, 101 Main, is a throwback to an attraction of past Oktoberfests when many of the churches would have booths traditional Volga German baked goods, most often made by the women of the parishes.
“It used by wildly popular. People would buy five pans of things and have an armload of baked goods going back to their cars,” said Lee Dobratz, vendor coordinator of the Oktoberfest planning committee.
“We’re trying to recreate that and see if it was as popular as it was then,” she said.
Vendors, both non-profit and for-profit, who are interested in a booth can still call Dobratz at (620) 803-9430 to arrange a space.
Among the products already lined up for the German Market are dried noodles, kuchen, cinnamon rolls, pies, local honey, jellies, jewelry and handpainted furniture.
Gella’s Diner will serve breakfast bierocks and Breathe Coffee House will provide free coffee at the market.
The Oktoberfest grounds and vendors will open at 9 a.m. in Municipal Park, and Dobratz said there are about 10 more food vendors than last year.
Opening ceremonies and the tapping of the keg are at 11 a.m.
A stein-holding contest with cash prizes in men’s and women’s categories will be at 2 p.m. Participants will have to buy an Oktoberfest mug and register at the Hays Convention and Visitors booth, which will be next to the stage.
Contestants will hold their beer-filled steins with arms fully extended. Whoever holds it the longest wins a prize of $100, with $50 and $25 prizes for second and third places.
“We think it’s going to be real fun. There will be major bragging rights,” Dobratz said.
7 to 10 a.m. — German market, south of the NCK Tech Big Creek Campus on south Main Street.
9 a.m. — Oktoberfest grounds and vendor booths open in Municipal Park, south Main Street.
11 a.m. — Opening ceremonies
6 p.m. — Beer sales ends
7 p.m. — Close