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Oxford hosts its first-ever Oktoberfest

Oxford's first Oktoberfest, dubbed Oxtoberfest, was held Saturday, Oct. 8.

Miami University students, alumni and Oxford residents gathered Uptown on Saturday for the city’s first Oktoberfest, dubbed Oxtoberfest.

Booths for local retailers and artisans lined High Street, and food trucks and stands were set up on Park Place. Right next to Oxford Memorial Park were activities for kids, including inflatables, pumpkin painting and train rides provided by Schwab Family Farm Market.

The Klaberheads, Ohio’s premiere Oktoberfest band, also performed live music in the park. The band played everything from polka to Big Band (jazz and dance music played by a big group) songs to rock music.

Oxtoberfest, “a fall festival, Oxford-style,” was put together by the City of Oxford, Enjoy Oxford and the Oxford Chamber of Commerce

The event brought in the Oktoberfest theme through stands with German, craft and domestic beers and the Burgermeister’s Beer Garden, sponsored by Steinkeller. The garden had select beer tastings and flights. People dressed up in lederhosen and dirndls. 

Sarah Osinkosky, a Miami alumna, dressed up with her family, including her dad, Mayor Bill Snavely. Osinkosky, who lives in Middletown, said she came to the event for her dad and in memory of Todd Hollenbaugh, who passed away last year and was a previous owner of Mac and Joe’s and Steinkeller.

“[He] was one of my dad’s best friends,” Oskinkosky said. “My dad used to go with him to Munich for Oktoberfest.”

Oskinkosky and her family enjoyed the beer garden and the music while her kids spent time in the bounce houses.

Kate Byrd, one of the local retailers, was there with Usborne Books & More to promote literacy. Byrd said the event turned out great, and she would be a vendor for it again.

“I always love when the community can come up here and be together,” Byrd said. “The Chamber [of Commerce] always puts on really good events. I do the wine festival every year, so I was really excited when they decided to do this.”

Jacob Haas, a senior chemical engineering major at Miami, said he decided to attend Oxtoberfest after seeing an advertisement at Skipper’s Pub.

“I feel like there’s always some event Uptown, and I’ve never gone to one,” Haas said. “It’s my senior year so I needed to try it at one point.”

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Haas and two friends, including Greg Friedenberg, a senior finance major, ate some barbeque food and enjoyed the music. Friedenberg said events like Oxtoberfest are always fun.

“You get good food, and it’s a place for people to gather,” Friedenberg said.

Oskinkosky said if Oxford held another Oxtoberfest in the future, she wouldn’t want anything about the event to be changed. 

“I think this one was great,” Oskinkosky said. “I think it turned out awesome. It’s great to see everybody turn out and enjoy Oxford together.”