Monday, September 19, 2011 , Updated 9:00 a.m., September 23, 2011
Oktoberfest in McKinney to feature German music, dancing, beer
Thousands are expected to attend the gala event.
Not necessarily in that order.
"We've hosted an increasing attendance at Oktoberfest during each of the last three events, and we expect this year to have our largest crowd yet," said Ty Lake, Main Street director.
The event will kick off at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 with the traditional Oktoberfest March. At 6:30 p.m., local dignitaries will gather in front of the main stage to officially tap the first keg of Franconia beer. A wooden mallet will be used to hammer the bronze spout into a keg which is more than 200 years old.
A wide variety of German beers as well as non-alcoholic beverages will be available at the festival. Several restaurants will be participating in the festivities, including Patina Green, Hamm's, and Local Yocal.
The event will feature a wide array of traditional and non-traditional German cuisine. German beer will be provided by the Franconia Brewery of McKinney, and by Wearsteiner Beer.
Lake said there will be two stages at the event featuring German bands and German dance clubs "from all over."
Vendors will be offering their products, both on the street and at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC).
Early risers on Saturday should come by Gather, a restaurant off Virginia Street, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. for a pancake breakfast. The breakfast, which is being offered for the first time as a part of Oktoberfest this year, will be free, but donations will be accepted for the Greater Dallas chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Members of the association will be on hand to offer information about the disease.
Then it will be party time for the rest of the day for the thousands who are expected to attend the gala event.
"Historic Downtown McKinney is the perfect backdrop for this special event," Lake said. "Downtown McKinney boasts one of the most vibrant historic districts in the state, with more than 100 unique shops and restaurants."
The event is by no means just for adults. Activities will include a petting zoo, face painting, bier barrel races, and "Weenie Dog" and "Want-to-Be Weenie Dog" races. Children and adults may also ride the Main Street Magic & Fun Company's German train.
Most activities will be free, but there may be a small charge for some, Lake said.
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