Oktoberfest to bring traditional German heritage to Topeka

Emily Juhnke, [email protected], is a junior mas media major.

The 28th annual Oktoberfest in Topeka will take place 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 at Fairlawn Plaza. The main purpose of the event is to communicate and celebrate traditional German heritage.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be many activities along with a variety of music, food and entertainment that people can enjoy.

“Oktoberfest is a very big German tradition,” said Irma Wager, executive assistant with Fairlawn Plaza. “In Germany it’s much bigger than what we’re doing here, but this is a little flavor of it.”

Schuhplatter German dancers will be there to perform diverse types of folk dances. Three different music groups are also set to take the stage.

New to the festivities this year will be a Polka dance contest at 5 p.m. Participants are welcome to register all day long leading up to the contest.

There will be many different kinds of traditional German foods available for people to try. Becky’s Bierocks will have a stand selling bierocks and potato salad. Wager said there will also be bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and an annual German bake sale.

The traditional Oktoberfest beer, Blind Tiger, will also be available for purchase. A small white tent will be set up as a “beer garden” to allow people to socialize and drink.

Different vendors from around the state are coming to sell items from the German culture.

A vendor from Wichita is coming to

sell German clothing and knickknacks. There will be vendors inside the mall for people to come look around.

The Fairlawn Plaza Petland is sponsoring a wiener dog race at 1 p.m. Four to five dos will race in each heat with several heats to occur.

“It is the funniest thing you will ever see,” said Staci Williams Petland owner. “It’s something you will never see except at Oktoberfest.”

There will be cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 for the first, second and third place winners. A contest for the biggest, smallest and best-dressed Dachshund will also be held. Williams said that any Dachshund is welcome to participate.

To register your dog before Oct. 5, contact the Topeka Petland at 1-855-552-8424. Registration will also be open all day before the race.

Oktoberfest used to take place entirely inside the Fairlawn Plaza mall. It was moved outdoors about five years ago, and the event has only grown bigger. There will be two large blue and white tents set up in the parking lot of the Fairlawn Plaza behind the Bank of America. Wager said that almost everything will be inside of those tents. If the weather is nice, they are expecting 2,000-3,000 people in attendance throughout the day.

“Come and take in the German tradition,” said Wager. “Just come and enjoy, and stay as long as you want.”