The aroma of sauerkraut wafted through downtown Saline, signaling the start of Saline Oktoberfest Friday night.
Opening night was marked by cheerful drinking and dancing, with popular cover band Your Generation providing the soundtrack for an evening of fun.
A health crowd was already on hand at the Oktoberfest site in the parking lot off South Ann Arbor Street when the ceremonial golden keg arrived, escorted by horse and buggy and carried by four men in lederhosen. The golden keg was transported from City Hall, down Michigan Avenue, and then south on Ann Arbor Street, where people lined up to enter Oktoberfest cheered and waived.
The entourage then turned on to Henry Street and entered the Oktoberfest site.
The horse-drawn buggy carried Festmaster Jim Roth and his wife, Joah. Also riding in the buggy were Mayor Brian Marl and former Mayor and State Rep. Gretchen Driskell.
Festmaster Roth was joined on stage by master of ceremonies Matthew Schneider, Mayor Marl, and past Festmasters Peter Kozma and Jim Peters. Roth spoke of the origins of Oktoberfest – the celebration of Saline’s sister-city friendship with Linderberg Germany. Roth noted that a group of Salinians were living for Germany for a 10-day visit next week. The group includes Mayor Marl, Roth, and City Councillors Linda TerHaar and Jack Ceo.
Mayor Marl also welcomed the crowd to Summerfest after thanking all of the Saline Main Street volunteers who made the event possible.
“This is a really iconic event. I think you’re going to enjoy yourselves. I hope to see you back tomorrow,” Marl said.
Wally MacNeil officially “tapped” the golden keg of Spaten Oktoberfest and Roth, Marl and Driskell poured drinks for guests. Schneider led the crowd in a couple of short and boisterous German songs to officially launch Oktoberfest 2017.
At around 8:15, Your Generation took the stage. By this time Oktoberfest was thick with people.
Here’s the schedule of events for Saturday.
8 am- 12 pm (behind Mac’s off Henry Street)
10 am – 3 pm (Located on S. Ann Arbor Street) FREE inflatable bouncers, obstacle course, children’s crafts, scarecrow making demo, antique tractors & more!
Don’t miss this year’s return of the – Nelson’s Wildlife Safari exotic animal show at Noon!
Noon – 11 pm
Corn Hole Challenge
3 pm – Kids Tournament
4 pm – Family Tournament
5 pm – Adult Tournament (FULL)
Learn more about Corn Hole and/or Register for desired event>>
Wiener Dog Races & Costume Contest
2:30 pm – Registration
3:30 pm – All Breed Costume Contest
4:00 pm – Wiener Dog Race Begins
Learn more about contest and race or Register>>>
6:00 pm Free Sign up near the Information Tent).
Prizes to: $100 First Place, $50 Second Place (Downtown Business Gift Certificates)
Learn more about Hammerspiel>>
Get registered for Hammerspiel>>
Noon – New Horizons Band
1:30 pm –Detroit Special
3:30 pm – Polka Riot
8 pm – 11 pm The Phoenix Theory Band
10 am – 11 pm – Some of your favorite German and American food!
Benito’s ( 1 pm Pizza Eating Contest)
Busch’s Fresh Food Market
Cinnamon Nuts & More
Lions Club of Saline
Saline Kiwanis Club
Saline Lindenberg Friendship Committee
Sweet Leilani’s Desserts