By: Dylan Frazier
The last weekend in Sept. can only mean one thing, Oktoberfest is back in Findlay. Oktoberfest is celebrated in the last week of Sept. and it is to commemorate the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, according to Time.com.
Five years ago, the Hancock Historical Museum started their own Oktoberfest, not to commemorate the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, but, according to Sarah Sisser, Executive Director of Hancock Historical Museum, to honor the German-rich heritage that this area has. This also isn’t the first time the area had a festival like this.
“We started Oktoberfest five years ago. But there used to be one in the 90s in Jenera, where there is rich German heritage. They quit doing it and then in 2014 we brought it back,” said Sisser. “We do this to commemorate the German heritage we have in Hancock County and especially that part of the county.”
A lot of preparation goes into this event. It may only be for one night, but for Sisser and the rest of the Museum, Oktoberfest is all-year long.
“We started prepping for this year about a year ago. We took a few weeks off after last year’s Oktoberfest, but then we went right back into planning for this one,” said Sisser. “We have monthly meetings with our planning committee to make this the best Oktoberfest it can be.”
Travis Behnke, of Findlay, has gone to Oktoberfest for the last two years, and he says that the environment at the festival is why he keeps coming back.
“I love Oktoberfest, the people are awesome, the food is amazing, and the event is great for this community. I look forward to it every year,” said Behnke.
One thing that Sisser and the rest of the Hancock Historical Museum Pride themselves on is that Oktoberfest is a good time for anyone. They want to make it enjoyable for as many people as possible.
“We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly event. There are many German, as well as American-style, food vendors that are here at Oktoberfest. Along with that we have a kid’s zone, where children can make crafts and get there face painted,” said Sisser. “We hope everyone can come and enjoy themselves.”
With plenty of food and great people, Oktoberfest capped off the festivities by having musical performances play the German-favorite Polka music.
“There will also be live music all day. We have Aaron Dussing and his Polka Revolution Band performing. Aaron can sing in eight different languages. We will also have Fred Ziwich, who is in the International Polka Hall of Fame.”
While the planning can be stressful, and it does take a lot of time out her year, Sisser loves putting on Oktoberfest for the community.
“It’s something we [Hancock Historical Museum] love doing because it’s a way to bring the community together to celebrate the heritage in the area.”