Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine rated the Kingsport Oktoberfest, Tennessee’s largest Oktoberfest, a “Top 50 Festival” in both 2012 and 2013. Last year’s festival brought more than 16,000 people to enjoy downtown Kingsport.
“This year’s festival continues our focus on bringing the community together in the true spirit of Oktoberfest, with plenty of German traditions, kids activities, and live music,” said Stephanie Carson, spokeswoman for Kingsport Oktoberfest.
The musical lineup includes some annual favorites as well as some new entertainers including the Mountain Top Polka Band, Beth Snapp and Hundred Acres, on the main stage along with other regional bands.
“Our goal is to have a good mix of local music as well as entertainment that is authentically German. We want people to be able to close their eyes and feel like they’re celebrating in Bavaria,” said Carson.
Kingsport Oktoberfest, taking place in the city’s downtown, will include two stages of music, with free entertainment taking place starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 8 p.m. The Das Kid Zone will provide alcohol-free entertainment for children and their families.
“Most of us involved with this festival have small children too, so we work hard to create an event that we’d want to bring our own children to. What kid doesn’t enjoy crafts, face painting and bounce houses? If they leave understanding a bit more about the German culture, that’s even better,” said Carson.
“We are looking forward to the return of Kingsport Oktoberfest this fall,” Kingsport Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Miles Burdine said. “This fun and popular event attracts thousands of people to our city for a day of great food and entertainment. We are excited that Kingsport Oktoberfest will be even bigger and better this year.”
This year the Smith Brother’s Harley Davidson Craft Bier Garden will offer unique beers from breweries around the region including Sweetwater Brewing, Terrapin, Studio Brew, Saw Works Brewing, Highland Brewing, Smokey Mountain Brewery and Wolf Hills Brewing. In addition, Hi-Wire Brewing is making its Tennessee debut and it marks the first time Blue Tick Brewery is attending a Tri-Cities beer festival. Those looking for VIP treatment will have even more to experience this year.
“We’ve learned that people in the Tri-Cities really enjoy a special tasting experience. This year in addition to general admission and VIP ticket sales, we’ve added a Premier VIP ticket that will include some fabulous extras,” said Carson
The Premier Club VIP is limited to the first 100 people. It includes all the benefits of VIP along with unlimited wine, a special Premier Club tasting glass, Premier Club Growler, Premier Club Bar Towel and a special cigar.
Beer University will also return with two classrooms inside the Bier Garden for people to enjoy. “Beer U” gives people a chance to learn something about making or drinking beer and talk to the key players in the southeast’s beer scene.
“Beer University continues to grow and we now have ‘instructors’ contacting us about sharing their love and knowledge or craft beer. It’s something we’re excited to offer and really underlines what’s important to us, which is that we continue to educate the region about the art of making beer,” said Carson.
Also returning this year is the College Football Bier Hall where folks can come and watch their favorite team on big screen TV’s compliments of Action Rentals.
Tickets are on sale starting July 8 while supplies last. Organizers remind people there are a very limited number of VIP tickets available and always sell out well in advance of the festival.
“Every year we have people who want to buy VIP tickets but try too late. We do what we can to expand availability, but feel it’s very important to keep the event limited to a small crowd of craft beer lovers,” said Carson.
Tickets on sale at www.kingsportoktoberfest.com