YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A three-day Oktoberfest started Friday evening in downtown Youngstown and the promoter is hoping 20,000 people show up.
An entire city block is being closed down for this event.
As a crew from 42 Event Production put the finishing touches on the main stage, Chef Matt Sutton came up to us with a German platter that will be featured at the downtown Youngstown Octoberfest.
“We have some schnitzel, some kraut, a potato pancake and some sausage,” he said.
The festival runs through the weekend, starting at noon on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
There will be polka music during the afternoons and evenings, then rock-n-roll at night.
The Oktoberfest will take place on N. Phelps Street, which has already been blocked off. Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts is a big part of it, as is Rhine Haus Bier Hall.
“We’re doing it all for Autism of the Mahoning Valley,” said Oktoberfest promoter Christian Rhinehardt.
Rhinehardt owns both Suzie’s and the Rhine Haus.
“We have tons of great German music,” he said. “We have dancers in from Cleveland and Pittsburgh. We have the Saxon Band on Sunday. We have some amazing late-night rock bands.”
There will also be vendors. David Depuy will be selling blends from his Rusted Tea Leaf Company.
“They needed vendors, I heard through a friend,” he said. “So I jumped on board. I started this up about a month ago, been doing kind of good so I figured I’d give downtown a try.”
“It is great for our restaurant,” said Mark Canzonetta, who owns Bistro 1907, which is a block away from Oktoberfest.
He said any big event downtown is good for his business and Oktoberfest is one of them.
“It brings a lot of people downtown to see what’s going on in downtown. Promotes downtown Youngstown, brings economy to downtown Youngstown. All the businesses do well because of it.”
Along with German food, there will also be German beer. The hosts will be German as well.
“We have our host and hostess of our event, Wolfgang and Helga, they’re right from Germany,” Rhinehardt said. “They’re two 80-year-old, great people who are full of more energy than I even have.”
Another event, the 43rd annual Boardman Oktoberfest, is also happening Sunday at Boardman Park. It’s sponsored by the Boardman Rotary.