Oktoberfest gets underway


The 41st annual Oktoberfest gets under way in Ottumwa today with a new look and a new location.

Due to reconstruction of the Market Street Bridge, that’s been on hold the entire year due to high water on the Des Moines River, this year’s fall event is being held in the Jimmy Jones Shelter House in the southwest quadrant of Ottumwa Park.

Oktoberfest kicks off later today with the 34th Annual Rotary Club Chicken Barbeque.  Through the day Rotary club members will be manning a large grill cooking up hundreds of pounds of chicken.  Serving will begin later this afternoon in the Jimmy Jones Shelter house.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Rotary Club in Ottumwa.

Tomorrow, the Oktoberfest tent in the Jimmy Jones shelter house will open at 11:00 a.m. with the serving of those delicious Johnsonville Brats.  New this year the Oktoberfest committee will also be serving hot dogs and tacos.  On stage Wednesday evening will be the group Bridge City Country from 7:00 until 10:00 p.m.

Throughout  Oktoberfest  B&B Amusements will be up and running adjacent to the shelter house with wrist band night tomorrow evening and again on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday night on stage will be the group Cam Steinway and the Groove.  Hy-Vee Food stores will host their annual wine and beer tasting event from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m.tomorrow evening. Friday evening in the beer tent it will be Mr. Fugly on stage.

Saturday is the big day for Oktoberfest with the parade of bands beginning at 10:00 a.m. Due to numerous streets under construction on the south side of Ottumwa this year’s parade will be shorter and will be held on the city’s south side. The parade will go down Madison Avenue to Weller Street.  Down Weller street one block then turn left onto Church Street with the parade ending at the 5 corners.  Following the parade Band drum Line competition will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Jimmy Jones shelter house.  A new event this year on Saturday at the shelter house will be the 1st annual Chilli Cook Off from noon until 4:00 p.m.

On stage Saturday evening will be the group Sez Who.  All proceeds from Oktoberfest remains in the Ottumwa area.  For more information on the parade call 683-0752.