Lederhosen, bratwurst and beer: Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County returns this weekend

Dawn Wittfelt, left, and Elizabeth Milby toast the official opening of Rotary Oktoberfest at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster in 2016.
Dawn Wittfelt, left, and Elizabeth Milby toast the official opening of Rotary Oktoberfest at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster in 2016. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times file)

More than six million people turn out for Oktoberfest, held in the German town of Munich every October. The festival is a celebration of autumn.

Here in Carroll County, over 1,000 turn out for Oktoberfest, hosted by the Rotary Club of Carroll County.


The seventh annual Rotary Oktoberfest returns to the Carroll County Agriculture Center’s Danielle Shipley Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6, from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7, from noon to 6 p.m.

Hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Carroll County — Sykesville, South Carroll, Mount Airy, Bonds Meadow and Westminster — this day of German fun will include family activities, German foods, beer and music.


Look for a Roll Out the Barrel ceremony performed by local dignitaries, a Lederhosen and Dirndl contest, a polka dance contest, and a chicken dance contest as well and live entertainment all day.

“We also have a stein holding contest that is always a lot of fun,” said Dawn Wittfelt, Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County chairwoman. “It is a very large mug full of beer. Whoever can hold it out the longest wins a prize, usually some sort of German merchandise.”

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Wittfelt also said that Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to turn up at Oktoberfest on Sunday, Oct. 7.

If you like German food, this is the festival for you. They have Bratwurst, Bauernwurst, Knockwurst, Sauerbraten, German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Rot Kohl, Semmel and assorted German cakes on the menu. Dog Beverage Company will provide beverages

Kids will find myriad fun activities at this family event. Look for face painting, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, magic shows, balloon sculpting and other fun games.

“We have a silent auction, too,” Wittfelt said. “There’s a lot of sports items, many donated baskets with gift cards to local restaurants and products, and each vendor supplies something to go in the silent auction, too.”

Wittfelt spoke of the prize wheels attendees will find.

“We’ll do a money prize wheel and a bacon wheel. Everyone loves bacon! It’s something fun and different,” she said.

Attendees will enjoy shopping and visiting with the vendors.

Wittfelt said there are display vendors — including some of the humanitarian groups they donate to — plus apparel, including German clothing, and Austrian jewelry, candles, scents and other German merchandise.

A football tent will offer seating for those who don’t want to miss their football. They can watch all the big games taking place during Oktoberfest. It’s the place to enjoy beer and pretzels and hang out with other football fans while watching games on a 120-inch screen.

“We will have a couple of screens up. On Saturday, we will have the college games on as well, including the Maryland game,” Wittfelt said.

Music from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday will feature Die Immergrun Musikaten, Mike Surratt & the Continentals, and Michael Leggett. Sunday music from noon to 5 p.m. includes Shippensburg Blaskapelle, Die Echten Steirischen Musikanten, and the Maryland Accordion Club.


Also, at the event, the 2018 Oktoberfest Corn Hole Tournament will be hosted by the Southern Carroll Cornhole League on Saturday, with registration is at noon and games beginning at 1 p.m. Sign up when you arrive or register early on the South Carroll Cornhole League’s Facebook page

Catching up with Scott Sirchio about Mount Airy's first Oktoberfest event, which he co-created. The family-friendly beer extravaganza is scheduled for Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

General admission costs $10, but children ages 10 and younger enter free, as do all those who arrive in authentic German attire.

Funds from this event will help Carroll County Rotary Clubs continue to contribute to many local causes, including the Boys and Girls Club, Change Inc. Carroll County Food Sundays and more.

“You probably can’t name an organization in Carroll County that we haven’t given to,” Wittfelt said. “This is the most important part of our event. All of the funds go directly back into local programs and we also do numerous scholarships for graduating seniors in Carroll County. Cumulatively, since 2012, our net return to the community [after this event] will be over $200,000.”

The Westminster Rescue Mission will be on hand with a truck as well, collecting non-perishable food items at a table at the event.

“If you bring a bag of nonperishable food with at least five items you will get $2 off your ticket,” Wittfelt said. “We also try to make it affordable for families to attend. We do not keep a dime of what we make. Everything we make — after paying for the event itself — goes back into the community. We should all be here to work together.”

For more information, contact Wittfelt at 443-244-7799 or visit www.carrolloktoberfest.com where you can click to purchase advance tickets.

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