The dates have been set for what has become Effingham County’s largest outdoor festival and this year it will again be held on a much larger venue.
On Sept. 26-27, the Oktoberfest will be held in a 20-acre Freedom Park beside Lowe’s and behind Rincon Chevrolet. Last year’s Oktoberfest was held there and it also also the new home for Rincon’s Freedom Rings event in June.
Local German restaurant the Schnitzel Shack will head up the food booth lineup.
“We’ll have the best German food there, in addition to seafood, Caribbean Islands food, and all-American food,” said Chamber Director Rick Lott. “It’s nice to have so much room to grow this event, and still be in sight of Highway 21. We are already planning on bringing in new activities for the community to enjoy. One great advantage of this new home is that all our parking will be right here onsite — no more need for running shuttles or worrying if there is enough space for parking.”
The children’s activity area is being expanded this year with the addition of bungee jumps, games, a petting zoo and a water walk where kids get inside a giant clear ball and roll around on a shallow pool of water. Suncountry Amusements will have its inflatables and rock wall again. There also will be pony rides and the hay play area.
Kids can try out the kids’ activities for free on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. The best whiskers contest will be held Friday night right after the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. There will be plenty of talented artists and craftsmen so people can get Christmas shopping started early.
Lott said the festival will feature the two large tents covering the stage and seating, with the beer trailers and tented seating there. Oompah band the Channelheimers will perform throughout the weekend. A kickoff ceremony will be held Friday night at 6 p.m. honoring the local Salzburger descendants and others. The best whiskers contest will take place at 6:30 following this ceremony.
Music for Friday and Saturday will include slots for local musicians, entries for the Friday evening battle of the bands, and the stage itself is permanent. The winner of the battle of the bands will receive $500 and the opening act slot Saturday night.
Headlining this year will be Eric Lee Beddingfield, who is promoting his music video, “The Gospel According to Jones.” It marks the last video appearance of country music great George Jones. Beddingfield and his band are coming from Nashville and will go onstage Saturday night about 8:30 p.m.
Presenting sponsor for this festival is Comcast, with Savannah Technical College sponsoring the music stage.
Sponsors include Georgia Power, Effingham Health System, Coca-Cola, Rincon Chevrolet, Schnitzel Shack, Harold’s Body Shop, Effingham Herald, GeoVista Credit Union, Effingham Magazine, Enmark Stations, Ameris Bank, EFACEC, Verizon Wireless, HR Block, DeWitt Insurance, CST Covers, Heritage Bank of the South, Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty, State Farm Insurance-Ashley Boyette, Dusty Zeigler Insurance, Allgood Pest Control, Papa John’s Pizza, Effingham Now, Effingham Parc Apartment Homes, city of Rincon, City of Guyton, Pruitt Health Hospice, Presnell Partners, Cash America Pawn, Everlasting Honeymoons and Vacations, state Sen. Jack Hill, state Rep. Jon Burns, the Tent Factory, AOK Portables, the Effingham IDA and more.
For Oktoberfest information, contact Rick Lott at 754-3301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.