Kent Oktoberfest receives high turnout

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A couple takes a selfie in the middle of Kent Main Street’s Oktoberfest crowd on September 24, 2018.

Bryan Vohsing

Main Street Kent’s fifth annual Oktoberfest was such a hit that many vendors found themselves running out of food early.

“I was surprised at just how many people came out this year,” said Phil Everett, the store manager of Burnside Barbeque. “I’ve come the past couple years … and it’s grown every time.”

Everett and the staff at Burnside Barbeque found themselves tearing their tent down early because they, like many others at the event, had run out of food.

This dilemma was echoed by other vendors at Oktoberfest who didn’t expect such a high turnout.

Event organizers did not have an official count for attendance; however, food vendors were able to provide the amount of food consumed by attendees.

To start, Burnside Barbecue brought 50 pounds of pork belly, 50 pounds of cabbage and 100 portions of strudel.

Kent Cheesemonger faced a similar dilemma of running out of food after crowds of people went through 100 bread bowls within the first six hours of the event.

Treno Ristorante had an unofficial count of at least 600 homemade pierogis sold by the end of the night.

And even Main Street Kent found itself running low on Oktoberfest mugs as the event was winding down.

Main Street Kent has organized Oktoberfest for the last five years and has seen continual growth. This year, the event was extended down Franklin Avenue to prepare for the higher turnout and the number of vendors.

Oktoberfest celebrates German heritage through several German-inspired food vendors and live entertainment.

The live entertainment featured many local artists including Mike Wojtila Polka, the Conway Brothers, Memphis Cradle and The Twistoffs. The German Family Society also joined in on the fun with a performance from their youth group during Mike Wojtila Polka’s set.  

Even the volunteers had a good time serving food and drinks and being apart of the festival, said volunteer Erin Anderson.

“This is our first year volunteering so we’re pretty excited to come out and do that,” Anderson said. “We’re really big into German heritage and Oktoberfest so we thought why not come and volunteer.”

Anderson did not know how much beer was served; however, each 16-ounce mug came with a beer ticket to fill the mug. At 3,000 mugs nearly sold out, it’s safe to assume that over 45,000 fluid ounces of beer were purchased within the 10 hour event. For comparison, that’s enough beer to fill an average sized hot tub twice without taking into account additional purchases.

Bryan Vohsing is the business and downtown/Trumbull reporter. Contact him at [email protected]