B'ville Oktoberfest this weekend

After a 17-year hiatus, Oktoberfest returns to Baldwinsville this weekend.

Toted as the "biggest Oktoberfest under one tent," the two-day festival will offer plenty of German food, music and dancing for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks to a grant secured by Sen. John DeFrancisco, the Oktoberfest Committee was able to rent a 210- by 80-foot tent, which is sure to provide plenty of shelter from any unexpected weather. In addition to the grant from Sen. DeFrancisco, major sponsors for the event include Alliance Bank, TJ Sheenan and Syracuse.com.

According to Megan O'Donnell, a member of the organizing committee, everything will have a German feel from the music to the food.

"There will be a lot of Polkas," she said.

The event also features Lieh's & Steigerwald as one of the main vendors and a Saturday performance by Ruby Shooz.

"We wanted something that would have a draw," she said. "People will come to see Ruby Shooz."

All the entertainment will be performed under the enormous tent. The event will also feature a beer garden, an outdoor area where people can go out to smoke with their beer in hand.

Fundraising opportunities

While Oktoberfests are traditionally held in September, the Baldwinsville event was pushed back due to time constraints and to avoid conflicts with other central New York events. However, one event the festival will not conflict with is Celebrate Baldwinsville.

"If Celebrate Baldwinsville was still going on we wouldn't have wanted to try and have multiple events in the fall," O'Donnell said. "In some ways, Celebrate Baldwinsville was a way to replace the original Oktoberfest. It's unfortunate it couldn't be successful."

In the spirit of Celebrate Baldwinsville, this event also brings opportunity for local groups such as fire departments, booster clubs and not-for-profits to raise funds without a big up-front investment.

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