By Michelle Baker | Photo by Joanne Maisano

Middleburg will tap into its German roots for the inaugural Middleburg Oktoberfest on Sept. 21. Middleburg’s newly formed Cultural and Community Events Committee was charged with developing a new large scale event for the town. The group discussed a wide range of options, and ultimately brought the idea of an Oktoberfest celebration to the town council.

“Once the council endorsed the recommendation of an Oktoberfest, we’ve been moving forward at about 100 miles per hour,” said Jamie Gaucher, business and economic development director for the Town of Middleburg. “We are very excited to be partnering with Art in the ‘Burg and to be working so closely with our friends at Old Ox Brewery,” he continued. “In addition to the wide range of artists, we will have several local wineries and restaurants in attendance too.”

The Art in the ‘Burg Oktoberfest celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. under the shade trees along South Madison Street. The free event will be held rain or shine. Festivities continue until 8 p.m. There will be games and competitions, live music, and fun for all ages throughout the day. “We hope to establish the Middleburg Oktoberfest as the latest in a tradition of great events in Middleburg,” said Gaucher.

Be on the lookout for German inspired dishes on the local menus and from food vendors. Visitors will have a smorgasbord of food choices from local restaurants and plenty of vendors to visit. Old Ox Brewery in partnership with the Town of Middleburg (TOM) is overseeing the event. The Biergarten will feature picnic tables. Other vendors participating in the inaugural Middleburg Oktoberfest will be Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, Boxwood Winery, and Mount Defiance Distillery.

Entertainment plans are being finalized. Musicians, including a German five-piece band, have been contracted to take the stage on South Madison, facing Main Street. The Middleburg Lions Club volunteers will help facilitate German inspired competitions on stage. WINC FM will be on-site to promote live from noon until 2 p.m. Anticipated attendance is expected to be between 2,000 – 2,500 persons according to town estimations.

Downtown merchants are planning to join in the Oktoberfest fun by offering special sales/promotions on the day of the event. A special retail partner promotion is in the works. Retailers like the Christmas Sleigh, which carries Bavarian clothing, will be a sure stop on the day’s list of activities. Merchants will receive 25-50 pins to hand out to Oktoberfest guests. Attendees will be encouraged to visit the retailers to collect all of the commemorative buttons. Those who collect all eight buttons will be entered into a drawing to win an Old Ox beer stein or restaurant/retail gift cards.

If you plan on being in town, note:
-Some roads will be closed as of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sept. 21.
-Port-A-Johns will be located on Federal Street.
-The stage will be located on the corner of S. Madison and Federal Street.
-The First Aid Station will be set up on Federal Street. ML

This article first appeared in the September 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.