Get Ready for the 26th Annual Oktoberfest

Photo | City of Gaithersburg Prost! Don’t miss this year’s Tap & Taste at the Main Street Pavilion.

Photo | City of Gaithersburg
Prost! Don’t miss this year’s Tap & Taste at the Main Street Pavilion.

By Kira Sansone

Grab your lederhosen, don that dirndl—the 26th annual Oktoberfest at the Kentlands is here. On Sunday, Oct. 8, noon to 5 p.m., the popular community event will take over Kentlands Market Square, Kentlands Village Green, the grounds of the Kentlands Mansion and Main Street. Here’s a preview of all the fun that’s in store for you.

Activities include pumpkin-carving and apple cider-pressing demonstrations, free horse-drawn wagon rides, crafts, pumpkin- and face-painting. There will also be five stages of live entertainment and popular performances by the Alte Kameraden German Band and Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers.

It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without food and drinks, and the festival promises plenty this year. The Wine Terrace will feature Maryland wine from Great Shoals Winery, Legends Vineyard, Whistle Stop Winery and The Urban Winery with three tasting package options and complimentary food bites sponsored by The Melting Pot, Bonefish Grill and Barking Mad Café. The Tap & Taste, located at the Main Street Pavilion, will feature beer tastings from Maryland breweries Dogfish Head, Waredaca, 7 Locks, Jailbreak and Red Shedman. Additionally, Dogfish Head will be selling beer from two locations on the Village Green.

Community organizations have their own special projects planned. Arts on the Green has five different activities, according to Jaree Donnelly, arts education program coordinator for the Arts Barn. Festival-goers can enjoy shrink-dink art and stained and fused glass demos with Fitzpatrick Glass Studios, as well as metalsmithing and painting demos with a free raffle of fine art photography and free 2017 limited edition art buttons with Arts Entwine. A community “Leaves of Love” project invites people to add leaves to a tree with a message of love.

In addition, artist presentations and demonstrations are planned in the Arts Barn and Kentlands Mansion galleries. Arts Barn teaching studios will offer autumn coloring opportunities for the family.

Arts on the Green’s most interactive project is the Plein Air Paint-Out, held in partnership with the Gaithersburg Fine Arts Association. Registration at the Arts Barn is noon to 1 p.m., with the paint-out planned for 1 to 3 p.m. Finished work will be on display at the Arts Barn from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Entry and parking at the festival are free, and there will be a free wheelchair-accessible shuttle service during festival hours to and from satellite parking at 101 Orchard Ridge Dr. This year’s Oktoberfest at the Kentlands is hosted in partnership with Dogfish Head Ale House. It is sponsored in part by BGE Home, Capitol Benefits, D, B & C Home Restoration, Kentlands Manor, Elaine Koch, Washington Parent, Mike Aubrey, the Maryland State Arts Council, and Yogibo.