Oktoberfest returns to Riverfront, 24th annual celebration

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PEORIA, Ill. — The Peoria Riverfront Park is kicking off the 24th annual Oktoberfest Friday.

The three-day German-themed celebration is a partnership between the Peoria Park District and the German American Central Society.

One of the festival’s supervisor, Nick Conrad, said the event is one of the most anticipated in the community because, although it’s popularly associated with beer, it’s a celebration for all ages to enjoy.

“There’s plenty of different bands and a couple of tents for entertainment,” Conrad said. “There are cultural displays, of course, lots of food and beverages and really just something for everyone.”

This is a statement Peoria resident Brittainy Augspurder completely agrees with. She said she’s attended the event every year for the past fifteen years, both before and after having kids.

“It’s just a great time and we love taking our kids to it every year,” Augspurder said. “Their favorite parts are the music and being in the parade at the start of the fest.”

This year will feature at least four bands including Die Schwarzwald Vagbuden directly from Germany.

Other events to look forward to during the weekend are Beer Stein Holding Contests, Two-person Log Sawing Contests, and “Das Bier Run“.

Regular attendees like Roland Savoie encourage community members to come out, especially if they’ve never attended an Oktoberfest before.

“Peoria’s Oktoberfest is a really good one for people who just started in it,” Savoie said. “It’s got a lot of the parts of a big Oktoberfest in a small community.”

Oktoberfest concludes Sunday, Sept. 22nd.

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