Fall is time for Oktoberfest fun

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Beer lovers rejoice. It’s once again time for Acadia’s Oktoberfest, the annual Columbus Day weekend brewfest sponsored by the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Chamber of Commerce.

This is the 20th year of the event, which kicks off Friday, Oct. 9. Organizers have added new activities and a third day to the celebration.

“Because it’s our 20th anniversary, we wanted to do some special things,” said chamber board member Kristin Hutchins.

This year, the chamber has scheduled activities for the Pemetic Green in downtown Southwest Harbor on the opening day of the festival.

The 11th Hour Farming Artists, a group from Blue Hill, will be on the green from 2 p.m. to dusk, carving three 50-pound pumpkins. The artwork will be on display for the following week, Hutchins said. Adding to the festivities will be local rockabilly favorites The Crown Vics. The band performs from 5-8 p.m.

Activities Friday also include a wine tasting at Smuggler’s Den Campground on Route 102. As in the past, local oenophile Scott Worcester of Sawyer’s Specialties has chosen the wines for the tasting. Tickets are $15 each or $27 for a couple. The evening includes music by classical guitarist Kevin Morse and appetizers by chefs from the Dockside Inn.

Beer moves into the spotlight in a big way at Smuggler’s Den from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11. The chamber hopes that adding a second day to the beer tasting will attract repeat customers.

“We’re hoping people come both days,” Hutchins said.

Admission is $30 for one day, $55 for both. For non-drinkers, admission is $10.

Easily the most popular tent at Oktoberfest is the beer tent. Nearly 30 craft breweries will be pouring out tastes of their various beers and ales. Some beer distributors also will be on hand with samples of some of the harder-to-find brews they carry.

“There’s going to be a terrific variety of beers,” Hutchins said.

Drinking beer is only part of the fun planned. Music, food, craft demonstrations and games also are on tap.

On Saturday, the band Whoopy Kat will perform in the music and food tent. Taking the stage Sunday are the duo Russ and Jeff and The Nevah Band.

On both days, vendors, many of them from local restaurants, will sell food and nonalcoholic beverages.

At past Oktoberfests, craftspeople have set up in a third tent. This year, a craft fair is scheduled for Saturday on the Pemetic Green from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The chamber has a new use for the space on the festival grounds.

“We’re making the craft tent a craft-demonstration tent,” Hutchins said.

Among the activities planned are demonstrations of home brewing and bird carving.

This year, the games will take a theatrical bent, Hutchins said. Members of the Barn Arts Collective, a Tremont-based theater group, will add to the fun as hosts for some of the contests. Competitors can try their luck at setting a new record for the torpedo keg toss, besting their buddies in the stein-hoisting contest or showing their mastery of a beer-less version of beer pong.

The chamber encourages people to attend in costume and has lined up a prize that should please any lover of beer. The winner of the costume contest will get accommodations for two at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Bangor, a $75 gift certificate to Geaghan’s Pub, a $50 certificate to Central Street Farmhouse and passes to Gene Beck’s Growler Bus Tour.

The chamber is running a free shuttle service between the downtown area and Smuggler’s Den for both the wine tasting and beer tastings.

Advance tickets will be available at the chamber office, located in the Harbor House building, until Oct. 6.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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