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Oktoberfest to have more variety of food

Friday, October 5, 2012

By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -

With 14 food vendors at this Saturday’s Oktoberfest, attendees will have a variety of options.

“There’s something for everybody,” said Laura Bowles, executive director of Martinsville Uptown.

The festival will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in uptown Martinsville.

The “Little Germany” area in the Bridge Street parking lot will be the “hub” for the entertainment Saturday, she said. In the parking lot, there will be children’s activities, a food court, a beer garden, and a stage where The Little German Band will perform.

Some of the comments heard last year were that people wanted more food available. Last year, there were only about eight food vendors, Bowles said.

To encourage more food vendors to participate, Martinsville Uptown lowered the entry fee for food vendors to $15. Last year, the cost was $50 for nonprofit food vendors and $75 for for-profit food vendors, Bowles said.

The foods available in the food court will include various German and American foods. The German foods will include bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and Bavarian pretzels.

Other foods available include chicken and beef fajita quesadillas, chicken sandwiches, steak and cheese sandwiches, barbecue, fried chicken, corn dogs, fried fish and chicken wings.

Also in “Little Germany” will be lemonade, funnel cakes, snow cones, fried Oreos and cookies, Bowles said.

Scattered throughout the festival will be vendors selling cotton candy, doughnuts, hot chocolate, cake pops, brownies, popcorn and ice cream. There will be “tons of nice treats,” Bowles said.

Another complaint last year was that the wait time was too long to get the German food.

Allen Blankenship from Vince’s Tasty Creations of Maryland will be coming to the festival to prepare the German food. Blankenship specializes in German food, and he will be able to prepare more food in advance and will bring a larger grill so that the food can be cooked faster, Bowles said.

Blankenship got involved after seeing Martinsville’s Oktoberfest listing on a craft fair website and calling Martinsville Uptown. “He found us ... we were very excited about that,” Bowles said.

Rising Sun Bakery of Martinsville also will prepare German foods including pretzels, onion kuchen and sauerkraut bread, she said.

Many people are interested in trying German foods since there is nowhere in the area to sample German cuisine, she said.

“There’s just a lot more variety” with the increase in vendors, she said.

At the festival, there will be a total of 215 vendors, compared to 150 last year and only 45 the year before. “We are growing by leaps and bounds,” Bowles said.

Vendors will be set up all around uptown. The festival will run from one side of the Bridge Street parking lot and go all the way down to Lester Street, across Lester Street, then down Main Street to the far end of the Bridge Street parking lot, she said.

“People need to be here at 11 a.m. to see everything, because there is a lot to see and do,” Bowles said.

Many people last year said they didn’t have time to get around and see everything before the festival ended. “It’ll take you five hours to make your way around and see everything that there is to see,” she said.

Lester Street, Main Street and Church Street will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Bowles said.

There will be plenty of places for people to park on all of the side streets off Market Street. There are several parking lots on Cleveland Avenue, Broad Street, Bridge Street, Moss Street and Ellsworth Street as well as plenty of spaces in the Depot Street parking lot, Big Chair parking lot, city municipal building parking lot and Jefferson Plaza parking lot, Bowles said.

Two-thirds of Saturday’s vendors will be selling home-made arts and crafts. “It’s a great time to start your Christmas shopping,” she said.

“I hope we get a lot of people and that the community comes out and has a really fun day,” she added.

 

 
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