GALION — An exciting weekend of family fun awaits people who visit the Galion Oktoberfest, which runs Thursday through Saturday.
The free event will feature live music, a craft show, games and festival food of all types, according to Travis Wolford, the festival’s director.
He helped the longtime tradition become reestablished downtown in 2019. Then it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
This year’s Oktoberfest promises to be better than ever.
“It will be on Harding Way from Union Street to Liberty Street,” Wolford said.
The festival’s hours are 3 p.m.to 10 p.m. Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 am. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Most children might tell you, though, that the highlight of the festival will the pedal tractor pull that starts at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s free for kids,” Wolford said. “It’s at the square.”
Main stage on the square
The festival’s main stage will be on the city’s square.
“We got a different stage this year,” Wolford said. “It’s kind of like a professional type of stage that you would see at a concert venue.”
Next to the stage will be a beer garden, which had been a very popular attraction during the 2019 iteration of the festival.
“That was actually the very first public beer garden license the city had ever issued,” Wolford said.
He hopes the beer garden’s popularity will continue to grow in 2021.
Entertainment at the main stage begins 4 p.m. Thursday with a lineup of gospel acts. A new group will take the stage every hour until the final set begins at 9 p.m. Thursday.
The Kickin’ Grass Band will take the stage 5 p.m. Friday, then the Terry Douglas Band will begin playing 9 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, Floyd will entertain attendees from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
A second stage will offer local entertainment every night of the festival on Columbus Street.
“Planet 14 is sponsoring that stage,” Wolford said. “They’re booking the entertainment and handling all of it, so that is nice.”
There also will be rides and games and many other activities for families and festivalgoers of all ages.
Volunteers needed for festival success
Festival organizers have been working hard all summer to ensure Oktoberfest’s second return in three years goes well, but they could still use a few extra hands to make the event a smashing success.
“We really, really need volunteers,” Wolford said.
The first opportunity to help will be 7 a.m. Thursday, when the main stage is delivered to the city’s square. Volunteers will help the professional sound crew set up the stage.
“During the festival, there’s trash duty,” Wolford said.
Those times are not set in stone, as volunteers can empty the trash cans as they notice they have become filled.
“The big thing where we really need is Saturday night after the festival, which is the big cleanup,” Wolford said.
That begins at 11 p.m., and will consist of tearing down the stage and cleaning up the streets after the vendors have packed up and shipped out.
“It’s a race to get it cleaned up,” Wolford said. “They expect it open within a couple hours.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call the festival headquarters at 419-777-7768.