The history of Oktoberfest began in 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on the 12th of October. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.
Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest, still celebrated on the original grounds in Munich, will mark its 208th Anniversary in 2018. Only wars and cholera epidemics briefly interrupted the yearly celebration.
In Maysville, we may not have horse racing, but we will have a parade.
The eighth annual Maysville Oktoberfest, presented by the Maysville Rotary Club, kicks off Friday, celebrating our German heritage with live traditional music, traditional German folk dancing, German biers, wines and schnapps, and authentic German cuisine. The Maysville Rotary invites its fellow citizens and visitors to enjoy a taste of Germany in the heart of our beautiful historic downtown Maysville, Friday from 5-10 p.m., and again from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday.
Friday evening includes a new event for this year. In addition to our usual stein hoisting and log sawing events, the Iron Fist Gym has challenged the area gyms and fitness centers to a stein hoisting competition. O’Rourke’s Pub has made the same challenge to the area restaurants and pubs. The first eight representatives for each challenge will compete in a “last person standing” contest. Lasting Impressions Salon and Spa continues the fun at 7:30 p.m. with our popular king and queen contest. We have not forgotten the younger generation, as there will be a prince and a princess named as well. Come dressed in traditional German and Bavarian costume and you may end up being a part of the royal court.
The entertainment this year continues with the Rheingold Band from Louisville, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The Enzian Dancers are back with their traditional German folk dancing. The Klaberheads, from Cincinnati, will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
On Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing until 10 p.m., enjoy a variety of children and adult events.
The start of the MCTCS Project Malaria 5K run/walk for our 2-legged friends begins at 8 a.m., followed by the Humane Society of Buffalo Trace’s wiener dogs races for our four-legged friends. Noon – 2:30 pm, McDonald’s of Maysville and the Limestone Family Y will present the Kid’s Bavarian Fair on the Second Street Mall. Vendors and music will begin at noon.
This year brings another addition to the festival, as the Limestone Family Y hosts a Centergy class at 9 a.m. on the Limestone Landing. Stober Drive’s tug-o-war competition has a start time of 3 p.m. this year. Please visit our website for a complete listing of events and times. www.MaysvilleOktoberfest.org
The winner of the 2018 logo contest is Tracy Duncan. Tracy also designed our poster for this year.
The annual Oktoberfest window decorating contest winners this year are the Buffalo Trace District Health Department taking first place, and the Classic Closet taking second. The contest is sponsored by The Ledger Independent, Maysville-Mason County Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center.
The carnival rides have a new location. They will be on Middle Market, and Middle Market will close to traffic for setup starting at 8 a.m. Friday. Bürgermeister David Cartmell’s German auto show-off, has moved to Second Street this year. Second Street and lower Market will close as usual at noon on Friday for setup.
The proceeds from the festival supports our Scholarship Fund. Each year the Maysville Rotary awards scholarships to the Maysville Community and Technical College for two area students.