With the Carlisle Barracks Oktoberfest expanding from one day to three days, several new attractions and entertainment will be offered this weekend.
Events will run from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event will be hosted at the Army Heritage and Education Center at 950 Soldiers Drive. Admittance is free and the event is open to the public.
According to Christopher Reitman, marketing manager of the Family Morale Welfare and Recreation Directorate of Carlisle, the reason for expanding Oktoberfest was to add attractions to appeal to a bigger, more diverse group of people.
One of the expansions this year includes a carnival, which will feature children and adult rides, free standing games and game trailers. Carnival foods like funnel cakes, snow cones and candy apples will also be available. Reitman is confident that the carnival will be a popular addition to Oktoberfest.
“We’re really excited about the carnival,” Reitman said. “It adds an element to the event that appeals to anybody.”
There will be a wide selection of food in addition to the carnival food. Pork and sauerkraut, pit beef sandwiches, bratwurst and German chocolate cake are just some of the options available. The list of food choices is “still being populated,” according to Reitman, but he said that the food “will be awesome.”
The new expansion of activities means more work on an already tight schedule, Reitman said.
“Planning that went into the previous years was quite a bit,” Reitman said. “This year, there is considerably more work.”
While the workload has increased, Reitman said a lot of the work was “duplicate” work. The expansion primarily consisted of adding more attractions and the carnival, which Reitman said he hoped would cater to a wider scope of people from both the military and public communities.
“We wanted to provide more of a draw and more of an opportunity for people to participate,” Reitman said.
The carnival is only one addition and one part of the three-day event. Oktoberfest will still boast some of its old favorites.
The U.S. Army War College will reveal the Class of 2013 War College Brew on Saturday, and there will be a 5K Volksmarch, which Reitman said would be “a nice way to get out and get a little bit of exercise in the morning.” Open registration runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, and it is a non-competitive walk that will have scenic elements. Children 12 and under will receive a medallion upon completion of the walk.
The entertainment lineup will include Courtney Stewart, The Martini Brothers and Rich Fehle. Other rock and roll, country and German bands will also be in attendance.
An arts and crafts fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday inside AHEC, and Artistic Works by Lu and Celtic Knot Alpacas will be among the vendors.
Other events include a Polka dance demonstration led by Frank and Maureen Hancock, a soccer game between the International Fellows of the U.S. Army War College and the Chester County Businessmen and a preview of an upcoming exhibit at AHEC. Called “The Soldier Experience,” the interactive exhibit will be fully available to the public on Nov. 9 and will be located at the Visitor and Education Center.
Christopher Reitman, marketing manager of the Family Morale Welfare and Recreation Directorate of Carlisle, said that the exhibit would enable people to see what it is like to be in a soldier’s shoes, and that people would be able to “feel the weight of different rifles.”