Oktoberfest “Party In The Street”
Oktoberfest “Party In The Street”
Saturday, September 30th, 2023!
Oktoberfest is celebrated throughout the world because it is devoted to beer, food, fun and families. There is no other theme. There are no saints nor civil wars nor revolutions, just mostly beer & food & fun. It’s pretty simple. In Germany, they love it so much it lasts for about 4 weeks. Maybe we can do that here at the Ale House, too, someday. For now, let’s just work on this one day and make it great for all of us and for Downtown Gardner. Gardner loves you, baby!
Dubbed “Party In The Street”, Oktoberfest is a profession of our wanton love of celebration in a moderately regulated fashion, outside, for everyone. Perhaps the key words here are party, wanton, outside and everyone. Such a celebration cannot occur very often or it will dull itself. However, as it does occur, the thrill goes right through ones bones. And as our Oktoberfest grows and adds more community groups and more events, the opportunities to play are myriad, the interconnections nearly numberless.
Oktoberfest is the essential celebration that identifies the Ale House and what it is and wants to be for people and Downtown Gardner. We hope you can come out and celebrate an ambitious project-in-people called Gardner Ale House. We are twice as big on this day and the Downtown merchants are in on it, too. It’s gotten to be big and getting bigger each year and now we can close off the streets allowing pedestrians the greatest family style party in Gardner. Note that the Gardner Festival Committee has taken over organization of this event and Moon Hill Brewing aka the Ale House is now a premier sponsor and still heavily involved.
The Fabulous Fall Festival up the street coincides with this event so that it really is one big Party In The Street. See also the Fabulous Fall Festival.
Save the Date for our next Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 30th, 2023! It’s a really good day out with the fam (free admission, open to all ages) and tons of fun.
HOW THE DAY LOOKS
11:00 AM till 8:00 PM German Beer Garden, All Day All Night
At 11:00 AM, the Gardner Ale House opens, the German Beer Garden opens, the music begins and the crowd slowly grows. This year the Hofbrahaus Bavarians, an authentic German folk band, will be pounding out the 3-3 Oktoberfest beats!
NEW THIS YEAR! COME DRESSED UP!
Luckiest Dirndl & Luckiest Lederhosen Show up at our info booth with traditional German folk dress and get an Oktoberfest mug to use and to keep. You will also be entered to win 25% of our 50-50 raffle. There will be 3 winners all day: Dirndl 25%, Lederhosen 25% and 50-50 Winner 50%. Feeling lucky? Break out the threads and have some fun!
Rain or shine we got you covered.
This is an all-weather event. You can hide out under a tent or squeeze inside – get cozy. We have the authentic German fare of sausages, sauerkraut, potato salad, and soft pretzels. We sport our Moon Hill Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest Lager and much more beer, beer, beer. We have lawn games for adults and kids’ activities, too. Our neighbor, Lakin’s Children’s Fine Apparel will be out in the street, too. We have Italian sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza to round out the festival feel. There are beer and food and everything vendors everywhere!
Inside the Ale House
Inside the menu contains exquisite German fare including sausage plates, Wiener Schnitzel and whatever the kitchen comes up with this year in the way of authentic German delicacies. This finer German cuisine can only be had inside the Ale House. (You might need a break from the street!)
11:30 AM Tapping of the Oktoberfest Keg WITH THE MAYOR
With authentic German folk music by the Hofbrahaus Bavarians, playing in the morning, we now begin formally with this tapping and the singing of Ein Prosit. After the ceremony, the music changes to something a bit more non-folk and a bit more rock ‘n’ roll’y, but, decidedly nostalgic, for the Ale House owner is old and somewhat stuck in the 60s and early 70s.
1:00 PM Men’s & Women’s Steinholding Competition
“Did you know there is a US Steinholding Association devoted to the ancient German tradition of steinholding, better known as Masskrugstemmen? It’s an Oktoberfest thing and we are an officially sanctioned competition site for the Massachusetts contest. The winners go to Jack’s Abbey Oktoberfest in Framingham the following weekend to compete for the state championship dressed in Moon Hill t-shirt and hat.
You down? You feeling rough? Strong men and strong women are invited to take the stage and hoist a 5-lb mug full to the line, for as long as you possibly can. The contest is strictly judged and you must not spill a drop. The mug is yours if you win and it is a serious mug, actually it’s a stein. No need to sign up, just be ready with your arm on the day. The first 10 women and the first 10 men will be allowed to compete at our Oktoberfest, the last Saturday in September. 1:00 PM sharp!”
2:00 PM Gardner Chair Luge
The Chair Luge Is Bigger Than Ever!
To miss this is sadness, to compete is insanity. The Ale House owner was insane once, and paid for it. He actually, believably, faked his own death for about 15 seconds. Some people didn’t think it was funny. He thought he was in too much pain to pull it off anyway – he had to moan and writhe, as required.
The idea is to get a chair, put wheels on it, put some kind of brakes and steering on it (if you care), don a helmet and roll downhill towards Beauregard Liquors from the Ale House. This event has been taken on by the Gardner Festival Committee, the same folks who put on the Uptown Roots Festival back in ’14. They feature “Human Bumpers”, a locally known emcee who’s shtick and costume are always a surprise, and several minor accidents.
3 PM Cornhole Tournament
We have two different cornhole sites, one is for fun on the lawn across the street from the Ale House and the other, in the West St. parking lot also across from the Ale House, is a bit more serious. You can come and play as you wish, no need to sign up ahead of time. The serious competition starts at 3PM.
3:30 Live Music on the Main West St. Stage & 3:00 at the Brand New Orpheum Stage
This year the music starts at 3:00PM
Immediately following the Gardner Chair Luge, some of the region’s finest live musical acts take the main stage in the parking lot across from the Ale House, as the party takes yet another turn – dancing, chilling and getting re-acquainted with people or getting to know new people with a free concert. The Orpheum Stage fires up 30 minutes earlier at 3:00 PM.
2023 LIVE MUSIC – FREE CONCERT
West St. Stage
3:30 PM The Bill Price Band – Nationally Recognized Blues
5:15 PM Seth Rosenbloom – Another big Blues Name
6:45 PM Point The Finger – Local Boys Done Good
Orpheum Stage – up the street
3:00 PM Cara & Val
4:00 PM Scott Alan Savoy
5:00 PM Route 2 Revolution
6:00 PM BodegaDog
We close the street party down by 8:00 PM. Last call in the street is 7:15 PM. The pub stays open a bit longer, but not too much later, for we are all tired and talked out and see only our beds in our heads.