The event is sponsored by the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Chamber of Commerce. Chamber board member Kristin Hutchins pronounced both the Friday night wine tasting and Saturday’s brewfest a success.
“I’m just as pleased as I can be,” she said. “I believe it was larger than last year.”
Oktoberfest has been the major fundraiser for the chamber.
“We really depend on it to underwrite operations,” Hutchins said.
The event has grown considerably since it inception. The original location for the celebration in downtown Southwest Harbor was quickly outgrown. This year, as in the past several years, three large tents were erected at the campground. The largest tent was occupied by beer and cider makers serving samples of their libations to the thirsty crowd. Another tent had live music and food vendors. The third tent was reserved for craftspeople.
Last October, the chamber added a keg toss to the schedule. Contestants were challenged to see who could throw a 15-pound torpedo keg the farthest. This year, first place in the men’s division went to John Halbran, whose toss measured 53 feet 3 inches. Second went to a man known only as Dan B., who threw the keg 50 feet 6 inches. Among the women, Sarah K. (also no last name) won with a throw of 23 feet 10 inches. Second was Kati Kallins at 23 feet 3 inches.
This year, the chamber added two new competitions.
One was a stein-holding contest where competitors were timed as they held a large stein of beer at arm’s length. This, apparently, isn’t as easy as it might seem. Although Hutchins didn’t have the winner’s names, she said the man who took first place held the stein for five minutes; the woman, two-and-a-half minutes.
Also added this year was a beer-less pong tournament. The cups contained water for a non-alcoholic version of the party game. Team M and M and the Swamp Donkeys paired off in the final round.
Attendees also voted for the most popular business serving beer and cider. Here, Downeast Cider House took the honors, Hutchins said.
This was the second year that the chamber ran a shuttle service from downtown Southwest Harbor to the campground. The move was made to cut down on the number of vehicles parking along Route 102. More people chose that option this year, and the chamber is considering ways to increase ridership next October, Hutchins said.
As with all events of this type, it takes a number of volunteers to make Oktoberfest a success. More than 50 people volunteered, Hutchins said.
“We want to send out an enormous thank-you to everybody who helped out,” she said.