AUTUMN 2015 – IOWA COUNTY: Oktoberfest, Fall Festival highlight Iowa County activities
by BRATHJEN on SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
By BRIAN RATHJEN
Already, there’s been lots of fun in Iowa County during the first couple of weeks of the fall season.
But there’s plenty more going on this fall throughout the county, ranging from the 50-year celebration of Oktoberfest to Marengo’s Fall Festival and plenty of activities at Lake Iowa Park.
With the 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest comes, for the first time, events in the village of Homestead. Organizers say that with celebrating for 50 years in the colonies, “it is fitting that it is expanding beyond the village of Amana, the largest of the colonies.”
Marc and June Hershberger, owners of Die Heimat Country Inn, recently acquired access to the old Homestead General Store right next to their bed and breakfast on V Street in Homestead. They needed more common space for their guests and would also like to bring more events, retreats, reunions and celebrations to Homestead. They named the building “Next Door: Die Heimat Event Center.”
When one of their guests from Oktoberfest last year approached them about hosting a musical duo straight from Germany at their new event center, they were very interested. Andy Glandt and Heike Besen will perform three shows at Next Door on Saturday, Oct. 3.
A commentary on the performers reads like this:
“Lady Sou and Mister Banjo combine a little flirting between a Sousaphone and a Banjo and provide entertainment, humor and fun for all ages. These two entertainers mix Dixieland, Bluegrass, Country, German and original songs with humor and create a sound that induces joy.”
Shows are Saturday, Oct. 3, with $8 wristband at the door (cash only); the price includes all three shows. Children under 5 are free. The schedule is as follows:
11 a.m.-noon: Children’s show and activities, with food available.
2-4 p.m.: Hear Lady Sou and Mister Banjo in a German bakery setting with coffee cakes, apple strudel, hot cider, and coffee.
6-8 p.m.: Evening show includes food and drink (BYOB); informal dancing and music jamming by musicians and friends.
For information, contact dieheimat
@southslope.net or call (319) 622-3937.
Many other activities will mark the celebration, running Oct. 2-4.
Friday’s festivities kick off with the traveling of the keg from Millstream Brewery to the Festhalle grounds for the official keg tapping ceremony.
On Saturday, the Oktoberfest parade kicks off at 10 a.m. along Main Street in Amana. This year’s theme, “50 Years of Oktoberfest,” will reflect on Oktoberfest throughout the past 50 years. There’s also the traditional Oktoberfest games at the Market Barn, Eisenmann competition, log sawing, a keg toss, Hammerschlagen, and the brat-eating contest. As always, there will be family fun at Kinderplatz on Saturday and throughout the villages all weekend. Outdoor patio seating as well as Grab and Go food are back again this year to allow festival goers to partake in German food and relax or continue to explore the scenic Amana Colonies.
Live entertainment features Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchman, the Johnny Wagner Band, Die Tiefen Keller Kinder, and introducing for the first year, the Jolly Zuks. Musical performances from the UNI International Dancer Theatre Dancers and the University of Iowa Tuba Ensemble round things out.
To reserve tickets, call the Amana Colonies Visitors Center at (319) 622-7622. Pre-sale prices are $7, or $10 afterward, for a one-day pass, $10 and $15 for a two-day pass and free admission on Sunday; youths 16 and under are allowed in at no charge if accompanied by an adult.
For more information and full Oktoberfest schedule visit http://www.festivals