Dickson Street merchants to reimagine, reboot Oktoberfest event on Oct. 11

Everyone knows that fall in Fayetteville is one of the best times of the year around here. It’s football season, the foliage is beautiful, and the weather is pretty much perfection.

One thing missing, however, is a legit Oktoberfest celebration, complete with steins of delicious craft beer, great music, food, and fun.

That void will soon be filled.

The businesses that make up the Dickson Street Merchants Association have banded together to get serious about giving Fayetteville its own version of the traditional German beer festival, and that event is set for Sunday, Oct. 11 on and around Dickson Street.

The group enlisted the help of locals Hannah Withers and Heather Holaway, two of the folks behind the enormously successful Block Street Block Party event held each spring, to put together the re-imagined Dickson Street Oktoberfest.

Some of the specifics are still in development, but the preliminary plans already sound promising.

Withers said the event will include a bratwurst competition, featuring local restaurants cooking up their best version of the delicious sausages, and competing to win the hearts of the judges and festival attendees for the “You’re the Wurst” championship.

There will be stein races for local waiters and bartenders, keg rolling competitions, a Firetruck pull strong man competition, and tons of food vendors serving up their best German (or whatever) dishes.

Several Dickson Street merchants will have activities inside their stores as well, like Sharpie tattoos from the artists at Ink & Glass for the kids, and a cider tasting event featuring brews from the new Black Apple Crossing cidery at Sideways.

The event will also include a Mr. Oktoberfest pageant at Kingfish, emceed by the NWA Society of Bearded and Mustachioed Gentlemen. Entrants don’t have to have facial hair to enter, but rather will be judged on their belching abilities, wet t-shirt beer bellies, and other (hilarious) criteria.

And it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without craft beer. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Arkansas Brewers Guild, will include three beer gardens and an all-ages craft root beer area. Expect to find brews from locals Fossil Cove, Core, Saddlebock, Apple Blossom, and Ozark, as well as several Little Rock breweries like Stone’s Throw, Lost Forty, and Diamond Bear.

Live music is planned on four stages, including a giant George’s Majestic Lounge stage in the lot behind Bordinos, a Fayetteville Flyer stage on Rollston Avenue, a DJ stage in front of Dickson Street Liquor, and a family-friendly stage in the root beer garden behind Shulertown.

The event is currently seeking sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and restaurants to participate in the bratwurst competition.

They’re also looking for entrants into the Mr. Oktoberfest competition (email [email protected] to register).

Admission to a single beer garden/music stage is $5, and you can access all three plus get a commemorative stein for $20. Discounts are available for those who show up in traditional German/Bavarian garb.

A bit more information is available via the Facebook event page.

Specific music lineups and event schedules are expected to be released in the coming weeks, but for now, mark your calendar for Oct. 11, and get ready to celebrate Oktoberfest in Fayetteville.