Welcome fall with polka music, German beer and food for a good cause at Palatine's Oktoberfest
The goal of the Rotary Club of Palatine's 14th annual Oktoberfest is to raise funds for local charities and community projects, but it's also a great opportunity to welcome the fall season with German beer, food and music.
Festival hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 16; noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 17; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the corner of Smith and Slade streets in downtown Palatine, south of the Metra train station. Admission is free.
"We kick off the festival on Friday at 5 p.m.," said Charles Young, Palatine Rotary president. "A local dignitary will officiate over the blessing and tapping of the keg ceremony, which will start our Oktoberfest event. Come celebrate in your lederhosen and dirndl!"
"Everyone knows beer is a large component of any Oktoberfest celebration," said Al Stoeckel, beer chairman. "There are a number of beers being poured this year. Krombacher Pils, which is an imported, full-flavored German pilsner, and Krombacher Dark, brewed from selected varieties of dark roast malt and the finest aromatic hops, will be served.
"Another beer on our menu, Half Acre 'Large Town' Oktoberfest beer, a Märzen style brewed by Chicago's own Half Acre Beer Company, is the most popular beer style among the beers in Austria. We will also be offering two different varieties of wine -- merlot and pinot grigio -- and White Claw hard seltzer."
The event will feature authentic German food from vendors including Morkes Chocolates, Tap House Grill, the American Legion, Friends of the Rotary, Schnitzel Platz, Tre Amici Pizza and Kooker's. Morkes will have a variety of caramel apples, spiced doughnuts, chocolates and a variety of other sweet treats. Tap House Grill will offer pretzels with beer cheese and spicy mustard, deep fried schnitzel pork bites, sauerbraten pot roast sliders and potato salad. Pop and water will be available for purchase from the Rotary Club of Palatine.
The American Legion will be providing french fries, cheese fries as well as cheese curds, and to complete the meal Friends of the Rotary will be cooking brats and hot dogs. Schnitzel Platz will offer schnitzel sandwiches, frankfurters on buns, pork shank with gravy and sauerkraut balls. Tre Amici will feature sausage, German and Reuben pizza. Kooker's will have Thuringer and brats, a Leberkaese sandwich, a Bavarian plate, salads and desserts.
Musical entertainment will kick off on Friday night with Die Musikmeisters from 5 to 8:45 p.m., followed by The Polkaholics from 9 p.m. to midnight. Saturday's entertainment includes Jimmy's Bavarians performing from 4 to 7:45 p.m., followed by Phenix from 8 p.m. until midnight. The musical lineup on Sunday features Die Musikmeisters on stage from noon to 3 p.m., followed by Phenix performing from 3:15 to 6 p.m.
Saturday is Family Day with games and activities from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. that will include face painting, police and fire department displays, children's raffle prizes and birdhouse building by Home Depot. On stage will be musical performances starting at 11:40 a.m. with Palatine, Fremd and Hoffman Estates high schools. German dancers Vest Dance Troupe and Bonnie Lindholm School of Dance will entertain with dance demonstrations. At approximately 1 p.m., the winners of Scarecrows on Parade, a scarecrow decorating contest sponsored by the village of Palatine, will be announced.
This year, Family Day will feature an Oktoberfest Family Bike Ride sponsored by the Bike Palatine Club on Sunday morning at the corner of Smith and Slade streets. Riders are asked to meet at 10:30 a.m. and the ride will start at 11 a.m. Visit bikepalatine.com for information.
"We will be selling raffle tickets for the chance to win one of our wine, liquor, or merchant baskets, as well as flat screen televisions, each valued at over $500," said Young. "We also have wheelbarrows of beer and a grill. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets. We will hold the drawing on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., and winners need not be present."
For a complete schedule of events and details about the club, visit palatinerotary.com/Oktoberfest; view the Rotary Club of Palatine's Facebook page or email email@example.com. The Rotary Club of Palatine meets every Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. at The Grand at Twin Lakes, 920 E. Northwest Hwy., Palatine. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.