History, beer, & bratwurst: Oktoberfest returns to Champaign County

Sunday’s event includes food trucks, more than 70 crafters.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Champaign County Historical Society hosts its 49th Annual Oktoberfest on Sunday.

The festivities take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Champaign County Historical Society Museum, 809 E Lawn Ave in Urbana.

The event includes more than 70 crafters, performers, organizations, and food vendors on site throughout the day. Local artists will be selling hand-thrown pottery, candles, wreaths, holiday décor, woodcrafts, scented oils, quilts, jewelry and more.

Poppy’s Smokehouse will be one of the featured food trucks, serving smoked ribs, pork belly, porterhouse pork chops, tacos and more. Schmidt’s Restaurant from German Village, Columbus will also be at the event, serving knockwurst, German bologna, German potato salad, kraut, sweet red cabbage, and brats, along with jumbo cream puffs and their seasonal special of pumpkin cream puffs. Other vendors serve corn dogs, funnel cakes, chicken tenders, fried Oreos, pretzel bites, hot dogs, ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes, cup cakes and cake pops.

In the OktoberFest spirit, there will be a beer trailer offering a variety of beverages.

The museum will also be opening during the event hours. Children’s activities will also be included in the event, including pumpkin decorating.

Admission is $3 for adults and individuals 10 and older. Children under 10 can enter for free if accompanied by an adult. Admission payments are accepted in cash only. No pets allowed.

Parking is available in the city lot adjacent to the museum grounds.

The first Oktoberfest was on Oct. 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen, and invited the people of Munich to join in celebrating the union with free food and beer, and the celebration concluded with a horse race. In following years, the celebration evolved into a celebration of the bounty of land, including horse races, food, and of course, beer. German immigrants kept the tradition alive in the States, and here in Ohio, where the largest number of foreign-born settlers are of German descent.

For more information, visit the Champaign County Historical Museum page on Facebook.

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