Lynchburg’s First Oktoberfest
Grace Cavanaugh ~ Copy Editor
On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Water Dog and the Academy Center for the Arts are partnering to bring Lynchburg Oktoberfest 2019 to Riverfront Park.
Dave Henderson, owner of the Water Dog, said this is the first Oktoberfest “at this scale. […] What we are trying to do is bring the actual Oktoberfest cultural event to downtown Lynchburg area, which has never been done before.”
According to the Water Dog’s website, Oktoberfest will run from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for designated drivers, $40 for pre-sale, and $50 at the door. Attendees must be, “21 or older and present a valid ID to attend!” says the website.
“We are limiting ticket sales to 1500,” said Henderson.
On the Facebook event page, it says that general admission “includes a contemporary German meal provided by The Water Dog, a commemorative beer stein, and one beer/pretzel/cupcake ticket.”
Attendees can also enjoy music by the Original Elbe Musikanten German Band, the Dundies, and Sirius.B, according to the Facebook page.
Henderson said, “We have a 40 by 160-foot tent that covers the stage and all of the communal tables. […] We have [a] professional lighting crew coming in, we have designers coming in to help design the tent, we have professional sound people coming in to support the bands and indie music during the event.”
He continued, “In terms of entertainment, we have some really amazing bands lined up to support the day. Our first band is […] an authentic 13 piece German band. These guys are from Richmond and really do the Oktoberfest justice by way of music. In between the opening band and the headline, that band is called the Dundies. […] They are a really great group of guys. We are excited to have them.”
Headlining the event is Sirius.B. “I saw them playing at Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest and I was like holy cow, we have got to get this band to Lynchburg,” said Henderson. “This band is going to be off the hook. […] They are crazy good and I am excited about the energy and the style of music that they are bringing to our Oktoberfest.”
Also at the event, people can participate in Oktoberfest-themed games and contests, including hammerschlagen, axe throwing, a stein holding contest, a costume contest, drinko plinko, and a mustache contest.
“Hammerschlagen is a fun German game that is pretty typical, but not a lot of people around here probably knows about it,” said Henderson. The Water Dog website explains, “Possibly one of the most fun games you will ever play (at an Oktoberfest). Be the first to get your nail in the log and wear your cow bell with pride!”
“We also have a game called Drinko Plinko,” said Henderson. “It is like that game, Plinko? It is essentially like that, except it has some challenges, like it is a little tough. If it drops in one area, [you have to] take a selfie with your friend. It if drops in another area, you have to take a drink. […] Just fun things to get people social.”
According to Henderson, the winner of the costume contest will “get a $45 gift card to the Water Dog.” Winners of the stein holding and mustache contests will either “get a t-shirt or a $25 gift card to the Water Dog,” he said.
The Academy Center of the Arts was unavailable for comment, but Henderson said, “[We] have been great partners for a long time. […] For this event, the Academy is our non-profit partner and proceeds from the day will go to the Academy, which is a great thing for the community. They are basically out equal presenting sponsor alongside the Water Dog.”
“Do not miss out!” said Henderson. “We have literally been working on this since January of 2019, so for almost a full year. We have really pulled out all the stops to make this a one of a kind event for Lynchburg.”
Henderson said, “We will create an amazing experience for our community and I am so proud to be able to do that. This is a really unique opportunity to be a part of something special and I certainly hope that we can make it happen year after year.”
For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.thewaterdog.com/oktoberfest-2019.