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Hickory’s Oktoberfest Celebrates 28 Years

Of Crafts, Food And Entertainment! Oct. 11 - 13


Hickory Oktoberfest One Of Top Ten In USA!

Hickory - For the past 28 years, Hickory Downtown Development Association has hosted the three day outdoor festival located around Union Square in downtown Hickory. The festival was conceived and achieved by capitalizing on the community’s existing assets: our German culture and heritage. Hickory’s population expands to more than double on the weekend of the signature festival.

“This recognition is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Beemer Harrell in downtown Hickory. Beemer conceived of the festival and carried the torch for many years. Now a host of volunteers continue the tradition that attests to the vitality of our downtown and our community,” said Jason Yates, President of Hickory Downtown Development Association.

Ranked among the ten most liked Oktoberfest Facebook pages for festivals in America, Hickory Oktoberfest, with 5600 facebook likes, is the best alternative to traveling to Germany to celebrate in the spirit of the original Oktoberfest from 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich… that’s where the party began. Hickory’s Oktoberfest is also the only festival in the top ten to be found on the East Coast.

More than 100,000 people enjoy the event with two beer gardens and four stages of live music. German polka music is heard most of the weekend from the Pavilion Stage located in the center of the festival. Citizens and visitors dress in traditional outfits and dance the traditional German dances in the tent set up like a traditional German beer garden.

Food from around the world is featured in the Festival Food Court. From brats to Bavarian apple streusels, the festival food will tantalize your taste buds.

More than 100 vendors exhibit their wares during the weekend. Nestled among the variety of permanent downtown businesses in the park-like setting of Union Square, the juried arts and crafts area offers a wide selection of wood work, pottery, paintings, stained glass, photography, leather crafts, and much more.

The family friendly event hosts a variety of amusement rides, carnival games, and a Kidsfest area that has activities for children. Face painting and the Hickory Crawdad’s baseball throw top off the fun of Kidsfest.

The 15th Annual Castle of Cans Food Drive will accept canned goods during the event or the canned food may be dropped off at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse on Second Street before the event. Last year, more than 16,000 pounds of food was distributed to eight Catawba County agencies to feed the hungry. The late Susan L. Coleman championed the food drive for many years. In Susan’s honor, the goal of festival coordinators is to make 2013 the most successful drive ever.

The ninth annual Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists Oktoberfest Road Race, on Saturday, benefits four Hospices in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties. The 5K run/walk or the 10K run has become a popular component of the festival. Sign up to participate today!

Oktoberfest Event Director Tracy Nestor said, “2013 marks the 28th Annual Hickory Oktoberfest. What started as a vision from founder Beemer Harrill has evolved into one of the top ten Oktoberfest celebrations in the country!  This year, we will continue to build on tradition to make the Oktoberfest as authentic as possible. The festival will combine a nostalgic feeling of old German tradition, as well as a unique modern festival. We hope you join us this year and for years to come.”

The event is sponsored by BARK Mobile, Jack in the Box, Convergys, Opulence by Steele, Frye Regional Medical Center, Coors Light, Focus Newspaper, Charter Media, Beck’s, WHKY, Hickory Living Magazine, WMNC, Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, Pepsi, the Hickory Jaycees, and the City of Hickory. The generosity of festival sponsors make Hickory Oktoberfest successful year after year.

Festival times and the entertainment schedule are also on line at See you in downtown Hickory on October 11, 12, and 13 for Hickory’s Oktoberfest.

Letter From The Chairman

It’s time to slip into your lederhosen, break out the beer and brats and get ready to polka.  Hickory’s 28th annual Oktoberfest will take place in downtown Hickory on October 11th, 12th, and 13th.  So strike up the oompah music, toast friendship, good times and enjoy Hickory’s Oktoberfest! Recognized as the #10 Oktoberfest celebration in the country by!!!

Oktoberfest is celebrating 28 years in downtown Hickory!  This year is bigger and better than ever.  We have a fabulous entertainment line-up with four stages of live music starting with Skinny Velvet and 20/20 on Friday night. Kicking off Saturday’s main stage line-up is The Broadcast followed by Tim Reynolds & TR3 and closing with the Alabama Blues Brothers farewell tour. The entertainment ends on Sunday with a performance by contemporary Christian music by New World Son who are at the top of the Billboard Christian Chart.

Saturday morning work up an appetite by participating in the 9th Annual Oktoberfest Footrace, produced by Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists.  This event continues to grow every year and we anticipate about 250 runners to run the 5k or 10K race this year! Proceeds from the Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists’ Oktoberfest Footrace will be split equally between the four Hospices in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

Oktoberfest will showcase more than 75 fine-juried craft vendors selling handmade and unique items ranging from copper yard art to fine art such as photography, landscapes, sculpture and finely crafted silver jewelry. There will be wood working and pottery demonstrations under the Sails. Our non-profit area will feature free blood pressure checks, highlight local political candidates and the Hickory Crawdad’s Speed Pitch.

We have expanded our Kidsfest area to include inflatables, amusement rides, carnival games, and face painters!  Be sure to stop by the Kidsfest stage for performances by area dance groups, gymnastic teams and martial arts groups.  The Susan L. Coleman Castle of Cans promises to be bigger than ever this year. Drop off canned goods to contribute to the castle and help Oktoberfest feed the hungry.

The Pepsi Food Court will get your mouth watering with all the wonderful aromas and promise of savory treats.  Ethnic food from around the word.  Unique German favorites.  Homemade specialties.

Hickory’s Oktoberfest is possible through the support of the community sponsors and volunteers.  At this time I would like to thank our community sponsors: Bark Mobile, Frye Regional Medical Center, United Beverages of North Carolina, Jack in the Box, Opulence by Steele, GEICO, Pepsi, Charter Communications, WHKY, Big Dawg 92.1, Focus Newspaper, Hickory Living Magazine, L&N Productions, Hickory Music Factory, 91.7 WSGE, Daniel Justin Smith, In His Service Productions, The City of Hickory, Timberwoods Restaurant, the Hickory Jaycees, and The Hickory Downtown Development Association.  Oktoberfest sponsors donate their time and money to cover all festival expenses to provide a free event for our community.  I would also like to recognize our festival volunteers; Tony Eltora, Leslie Srail,  Diava McCandless, Shirley Mullarky, Beth Huggins, Phil Scarboro, Steve Snyder, Sandi Wike, Barbara Sinclair and  Connie Kincaid.  I would also like to mention that we lost one of your community volunteers this year, Susan Coleman. Susan was instrumental in growing our Castle of Cans food drive. Last year Oktoberfest donated over 20,000 pounds for canned food to Second Harvest Food Bank which is distributed among eight Catawba County agencies. We will miss Susan and her passion for our community and we want to express our sincere gratitude for her involvement with Oktoberfest. I cannot cover all the festivities so for more information visit our website at!

There is something for everyone! Don’t miss the festivities our community has to offer. Come join us at Oktoberfest!

~ Tracy Nestor, Event Director, Hickory’s Oktoberfest 2013


Oktoberfest 2013 Entertainment


Main Stage

7:00 - 8:30 pm - Skinny Velvet

9:00 - 11:00 pm - 20/20

Pavilion Stage

5:00 - 7:00 pm - Foothills Oompah Band

7:30 - 9:00 pm - Yadatu

9:30 to 11:00 pm - Pam Taylor Band

Hickory Music Factory Stage

6:30 - 7:30 pm - Shiva’s Destruction

7:00 - 7:30 pm - Epitaph

8:00 - 9:00 pm - My Own Voyage

9:30 - 10:30 pm - Renowned Eternity

DJS Singer Songwriter Stage

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm - Jared Allan

7:45 pm - 8:45 pm - David Childers


Main Stage

2:15 - 3:30 pm - The Broadcast

4:00 - 5:30 pm - Tim Reynolds and TR3

6:00 - 7:30 pm - Big Daddy Love

8:00 - 9:30 pm - Bonerama

10:00 - 11:30 pm - Alabama Blues Brothers

Pavilion Stage

12:30 - 3:00 pm - Foothills Oompah Band

3:30 - 4:30 pm - Two Ton Sponge

5:00 - 6:00 pm - Pan Jive Steel Drum Band

6:30 - 7:30 pm - Lacy Gree

8:00 - 9:00 pm - The Low Counts

9:30 - 11:00 pm - Daniel Justin Smith Three Piece

Hickory Music Factory Stage

10:30 am - 12:00 pm - P3 - Piedmont Percussion Ensemble

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm - Pandemic

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm - HMF Drum Circle

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm - Sensory Overload

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm - HMF Rock 101

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - The Booth

7:30 pm -8:15 pm - Acme Delco

8:45 pm - 9:30 pm - Ghost Named Gertrude

DJS Singer Songwriter Stage

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - Cory Goble

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Makensie Marie 

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm -Aaron Burdett

4:45 pm - 5:45 pm - Casey Clark

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm - Yes The Raven

7:45 pm - 8:45 pm - Malcolm Holcombe

Kidfest Stage

10:00 am - Suzuki School of Music

12:00 pm - Sonya’s Dance Academy

1:00 pm - Foothills Gymnastics

2:00pm - Clater Kaye Theaterworks


Main Stage

2:00 pm - Hannah Arsenault

2:25 pm - Community Worship Band

3:00 pm - Second Hand City

3:45 pm -NewWorldSon

Pavilion Stage

12:30 - 2:00 pm - Hickory Jazz Orchestra

2:30 - 5:00 pm - Foothills Oompah Band

DJS Singer Songwriter Stage

1:15 pm - 2:15 pm - Scott Gibson

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm - Dustin Transou

Bob Wilusz - strolling accordionist


Oktoberfest Entertainment - Main Stage

Friday, October 11

7:00 - 8:30 pm Skinny Velvet One part Blues, One part Rock, add a dash of 70’s era Funk and Soul, mix in a greasy cast iron skillet and you get what we have here....a Southern Sou Transfusion! As quoted by a fan, “Skinny Velvet is the Carolina’s Most Dangerous Band!”




9:00 - 11:00 pm 20/20 The popular group is known for its covers of The Black Keys, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Buffett, Van Morrison, Beatles, Monkees, The Who, Queen, Kings Of Leon as well as many other popular bands.





Saturday, October 12

2:15 - 3:30 pm The Broadcast The Broadcast are a round shaking, soul-driven powerhouse. Propelled by the thunderous and explosive vocals of lead singer Caitlin Krisko, this sensational 6-piece played to crowds all over the US last year. A dynamic ensemble that mixes elements of all-out rock (Led Zeppelin), neo-soul (Grace Potter) and classic songwriting (Fleetwood Mac).




4:00 - 5:30 pm Tim Reynolds and TR3 Tim Reynods and TR3 are two-time Grammy nominees. Tim is also the guitar player for the Dave Matthews Band.







6:00 - 7:30 pm Big Daddy Love BDL’s busy touring schedule has provided them the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Jim Lauderdale, Keller Williams and more. Away from the road, the band’s two previous releases– Let It Grow (2011) and To The Mountain (2010)—both on North Carolina label Little King Records—received glowing praise from the arts weekly and blog worlds and landed the band at #36 in the national Americana charts and #5 in the Homegrown Music radio charts. 



8:00 - 9:30 pm Bonerama Even in a city that doesn’t play by the rules, New Orleans’ Bonerama is something different. They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. Bonerama has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as “the ultimate in brass balls” (2005) and praised for their “…crushing ensemble riffing, human - feedback shrieks and wah-wah growls” (2007). What other brass band could snag an honor for “Best Rock Band” (Big Easy Awards)?




10:00 - 11:30 pm Alabama Blues Brothers The Alabama Blues Brothers are Jamey and Justin Crisler. These actual Brothers are the nation’s only real Brother Team performing as Jake and Elwood Blues in the country. Jamey has the lead vocals and Justin blows a mean Hohner special 20 harmonica. Their show staples include "Soul Man”, "Hey, Bartender”, "Stand By Your Man", "Give Me Some Lovin", "Rawhide" and many other great R & B and Blues Brothers tunes.




Sunday, October 13

2:00 pm Hannah Arsenault

2:25 pm Community Worship Band

3:00 pm Second Hand City Formerly known as Elishah, the band has adopted a new moniker, a name that hints at the band's vision and accessibility.  This new name is Second Hand City. Inspired by an urgency to unite the Body of Christ and to build His kingdom through music; Second Hand City wraps their passion for melodies, lyrics and sonic textures around honest life experiences. 





3:45 pm NewWorldSon Three-time Juno nominees Newworldson (2008, 2009, 2011 Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year) rocketed to international fame after the release of "Salvation Station" and an invitation to join the newsboys on their wildly popular GO Tour in 2007-08. Further recognition followed with the success of their first hit single "There Is A Way" - peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Music chart for Christian Songs, reaching the number 1 spot at Christian radio in Canada, the UK and Australia, and helping to garner three of 11 awards in total from the Gospel Music Association for the Niagara Falls-based group.



Pavilion Stage

Friday, October 11

5:00 - 7:00 pm Foothills Oompah Band The Foot Hills Oompah Band creates the mood of A Bavarian autumnal festival to Hickory. The first festival began when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese on Oct 12, 1810. Our performance is modeled after a traditional German autumnal Festival. 






7:30 - 9:00 pm Yadatu A 4 piece band from The Foothills of NC, Yaddatu lets their music speak for itself. The group formed in the fall of 2010 and hit the ground running in 2011 with writing, recording and playing live. With goals set high, Yaddatu works hard at perfecting their craft and challenging each other musically.





9:30 - 11:00 pm Pam Taylor Band Singer /Songwriter/Guitar player from South Carolina. Pam Taylor is a 3rd generation musician. Her grandfather is a singer/guitar player and her father also plays the saxophone. Currently she and her father share the love of music and are taking the local music scene by storm. They have teamed up with some of the most dedicated and talented musicians in the South East to form the Pam Taylor Band. This has been a life-long dream of Taylor who has shared the stage with such artists as Los Lobos, JP Soars, Vasti Jackson, Lionel Young, Tommy Castro, Nick Moss, Jason Ricci, Deanna Bogart, Jimmy Carpenter, Elvin Bishop and Deborah Coleman.

Saturday, October 12

12:30 - 3:00 pm Foothills Oompah Band 

3:30 - 4:30 pm Two Ton Sponge The band is Kurt Benfield on vocals, Richard Bolic on drums, Joe Holland on keyboard, June Annas on bass, and Steven Bissette on guitar.






5:00 - 6:00 pm Pan Jive Steel Drum Band Pan Jive has been in existence since 1998. Known originally as a community program, the group has evolved into a professional, working ensemble based out of Hickory, North Carolina. Pan Jive is a high-energy steel drum band, offering the sounds of the Caribbean islands as well as many popular and original compositions. The group has performed all over NC and surrounding states and recently released their premiere CD, "Party In Our Pans!"



6:30 - 7:30 pm Lacy Green Raised in the small town of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, Lacy grew up singing alongside her family and in the local church. Influenced early on by her mother and father’s musical tastes, Lacy developed a keen affection for the impassioned performances of legendary soul singers like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. As she began to develop her own sense of artistry, however, Lacy found herself drawn to the Country and Bluegrass music of artists like The Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss, New Grass Revival, Patty Griffin and Miranda Lambert.






8:00 - 9:00 pm The Low Counts Doing around 200 or so shows a year, Matt Walsh is a vocalist/guitarist/songwriter from North Carolina and the force behind his Americana/Rock duo, The Low Counts. His original music is blends the early influence of anyone from Blues guitarists like Robert Nighthawk, Hound Dog Taylor, RL Burnside and Willie Johnson (Howlin' Wolf's guitarist on Sun Records) to rockers like Link Wray with anything from Hip-Hop, Rock, Soul, Country, Rockabilly genres that has soul, feeling and rawness.





9:30 - 11:00 pm Daniel Justin Smith Three Piece Smith’s organic style and progressive mind are evident in both his recorded work and live concerts. His dynamic attack on the acoustic guitar, fiery vocals, and captivating stories told through heartfelt lyrics blend effortlessly to produce gripping performances. Dr. Ralph Stanley once said, “The ‘it’ is called soul, you either have it or you don’t.” Daniel Justin Smith has a soul worth listening to.





Sunday, October 13

12:30 - 2:00 pm Hickory Jazz Orchestra The Hickory Jazz Orchestra (HJO) is a full size 18-piece group that performs swing and big band classics from the era of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington as well as the sounds of modern big bands.




2:30 - 5:00 pm Foothills Oompah

Hickory Music Factory Stage

Friday, October 11

6:00 - 6:30 pm Shiva's Destruction

7:00 - 7:30 pm Epitaph

8:00 - 9:00 pm My Own Voyage We are a band from Morganton NC. The reasoning behind our name is life is nothing but a voyage; we all have to take it and see where it leads us. We are about standing up for what you believe and chasing your dreams. Our EP "The Fall of Avalon" is almost finished. We make music because we love it, this is our dream.





9:30 - 10:30 pm Renowned Eternity Renowned Eternity is a hard-hitting, Groove-Metal band out of Statesville, North Carolina. Renowned Eternity is currently comprised of Jerry Widner III - Lead Vocals; Brett "The Priest" Widner - Guitars, Backing Vocals; Max Upright - Guitars, Backing Vocals; Matt Bell - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals and Matt "Fast Feet" Fulk on Drums. Renowned Eternity's lyrical content consists of unjust government, personal afflictions, bullying, and conformity.

Saturday, October 12

10:30 - 12:00 noon P3 Percussion Ensemble The Piedmont Percussion Program was designed especially for experienced and in-experienced percussionists with various goals in music. We accept people at all levels, beginner, intermediate, advanced, from elementary school - college level. The PPP has been recognized in both Percussion News and Percussive Notes, national percussion magazines.


12:30 - 2:00 pm Pandemic Pandemic is a community steel drum band that rehearses once a week for an hour.  The group is comprised of middle and high school kids with an interest in learning and performing on traditional steel drums. Many of Pandemic's players go onto pursue steel drums professionally and/or play with larger steel drum groups such as the ASU Steely Pan Band, and Pan Jive Steel Drum Band.


2:30 - 3:30 pm HMF Drum Circle The Hickory Music Factory is excited to announce Hickory’s first established “drum circle” open to all ages.  Facilitator and HMF member Rick Cline, has over 18 years of experience in teaching African drumming and leading “drum circles” for schools, private events, teen groups, workshops, etc. Community drum circles are informal gatherings of people who meet for the purpose of playing drums together. HMF will provide drums, but bringing your own drum is encouraged.

4:00 - 4:30 pm Sensory Overload

6:30 - 7:00 pm The Booth

7:30 - 8:15 pm Acme Delco The band, while predominantly a hard rock act, will not hesitate from moving to different sub-genres unfamiliar to the head bangers of the world. 







8:45 - 9:30 pm Ghost Named Gertrude Ghost Named Gertrude is a six-piece experimental space grunge band, equipped with an arsenal to blow the mind of any audience. With tasty licks by Barrett Hager and Alec Miller, psychedelic sax from Rowan Sheppard, and smooth, slick bass grooves from the fingers of Mokeilio Bimpy, Joe Dubois and Strawberry Man pour their hearts out to you unconditionally. One is sure never to forget the night they saw the Ghost!



Bob Wilusz - Accordionist, will be roaming the festival playing German music.








DJS Singer Songwriter Stage

Friday, October 11

6:15 - 7:15 pm Jared Allan In less than a year, the group has made its mark in the Charlotte area. They play 5-9 shows per week, ranging from small wine gatherings to notable outdoor events. You can catch the guys playing from Jersey to Georgia and the Mississippi to the Atlantic, but generally, in the greater North Carolina area.







7:45 - 8:45 pm David Childers Lead by David Childers (of the Modern Don Juans) and Bob Crawford (of the Avett Brothers), the Overmountain Men are a North Carolina band whose time has come. Crawford, Childers, and his son Robert met at a Ramada Inn in Wytheville, Virginia back in 2004. That meeting ultimately led to The Overmountain Men. Some call them Americana, others call them Folk, most call them a great band.





Saturday, October 12

12:15 - 1:15 pm Cory Goble Cory Goble is a inger/songwriter from Hickory, NC. His style varies from indie, folk, pop, to even comedy. Cory started his musical journey at the age of 10 when he picked up his first guitar and hasn't put it down since.

1:45 - 2:45 pm Makenzie Marie Just a small town girl with a big voice, Makenzie Marie mixes old school style with modern day music to create a fun, relaxing, and all-around enjoyable show. From her heart-felt originals to her fun sense of humor, she gives an entertaining performance that you are sure to appreciate.







3:15 - 4:15 pm Aaron Burdett Aaron Burdett serves up the finest song driven Americana the North Carolina mountains has to offer. Aaron shares an intriguing perspective on the world around us, connections to places and people, and the simple pleasures of life through his heartfelt, thoughtfully crafted songs. Aaron’s original Americana music blends folk-rock, bluegrass, and blues. His honest songwriting pours in between hammer-on chord changes and rolling cross-picking rhythms, all the while keeping at the forefront his own unique sound and authentic voice.



4:45 - 5:45 pm Casey Clark As a North Carolina native he has been creating tangible lyrics and backing them with a guitar since 2000. After finishing college in 2008 he decided to pursue music full time and released his first album "Shades of Love" showcasing the songs he had written for the last 10 years.






6:15 - 7:15 pm Yes The Raven Yes The Raven (AKA Alyn Mearns), possesses a singular sound that’s difficult to describe yet impossible to forget. This music is not merely a sum of its parts though. Alyn’s body seems to have grown a guitar and his guitar seems to be inhabited by a voice, a haunted ship on the sea of song. The lyrics are truly lyre-ic, forming out of the melody, which in turn is birthed from plucked harmony. Audiences are left spell-bound by something that seems to have absorbed modern pop and folk music, but is, at its heart much more ancient, something Orphean, Homeric, Davidian.



7:45 - 8:45 pm Malcolm Holcombe Malcolm Holcombe’s new album Down the River, his ninth, is born from that bed of contradictions we all lie in. There are songs here such as “Twisted Arms” and “Whitewash Job” that sizzle with anger at a society that seems intent on losing its way and running over its poor and disenfranchised. These are coupled with songs from a softer, more generous perspective such as “The Crossing” and “In Your Mercy,” written in the voice of an old woman who sees “All I worked for/…sold and surely gone,” but who trusts that “many years will tell the truth.”





Sunday, October 13

1:15 - 2:15 pm Scott Gibson Scott Gibson’s music will guide you in search of the truth underneath life’s overbearing canopy. He makes lyrical promises that you are never alone, and the chords he sets free, from guitar and harp alike, are a strength; a conviction; indeed, an all-out pledge to crash through walls with you.







2:45 - 3:45 pm Dustin Transou Dustin’s songs have been described as pure mountain poetry. His honesty comes through the soulful songs of the working man, battles won and lost, and moments of pleasure found in the everyday. His unique, raw voice is often compared to Bob Dylan’s, and influences from the likes of Dylan, John Prine, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter can be heard in his captivating lyrics.







Kidfest Stage

Saturday, October 12

12:00 noon Foothills Gymnastics

12:30 pm Cheer Energy

1:00 pm Sonya’s Dance Academy

1:30 pm Suzuki School of Music

2:00 pm Clater Kaye Theaterworks

3:00 pm Sims Country Cloggers





It’s unbelievable how Oktoberfest has grown since its inception in 1985 when a group of dreamers sat around a table in the office of WHKY and talked about creating Hickory's first Oktoberfest! The first year is always the most difficult to put together, trying to decide where to hold it, hours, how many days, entertainment, beer (of course, that was a given), finding volunteers and on and on.   Led by its not-so-fierce leader and Oktoberfest founder, the late Beemer Harrell, a huge promoter of Hickory’s downtown, this committee proceeded to plan and organize the first Oktoberfest.

Now in its 28th year Oktoberfest has outgrown its original boundaries in not only space (it was originally on Union Square only), but it now has class acts entertaining, a large craft show and commercial section, KidFest, more and more non-profits, and naturally, FOOD! 

I personally think the emphasis on local entertainers and young entertainers is where the Festival has grown the most.  Thanks to Rick Cline, percussionist extraordinaire and LRU instructor and Tony Eltora, Hickory Music Factory’s leaders, the youth are included throughout Oktoberfest. Musicians from 13-20 were encouraged to audition.  The Pan Jive Steel Drum Band will perform again.  Another very popular Drum Circle will offer anyone, kids included, the opportunity to sit with a drum between their knees and follow the rhythms that Rick and Tony set up for them.  Eventually, those kids are setting the rhythms for the others in the Circle. 

Encouraging young people to participate is such a gift to the community, as well as to the kids.  They will grow into tomorrow’s musicians, performers, leaders…and carry this love of music and rhythm through their lives. 

Local adult entertainer Casey Clark will again perform…a fine singer and guitarist.  And the group 20/20, a band made up of local ophthalmologists will rock the audience while they exhibit that there is still a “child” inside each of them! 

Returning this year, Bob Wilusz, the wandering accordion player will add to the German atmosphere.  And the always popular Oomph band will be under the big tent in the Union Square parking lot most of Friday evening and Saturday.  Year after year they draw a huge crowd of appreciative listeners and dancers who join in the fun.

The founders of Oktoberfest, a few of whom still serve on the committee now headed up by Tracy Nestor, will again make Beemer proud! They have successfully carried on the tradition of Oktoberfest, a wonderful weekend for everyone. 

~Julia Rush 


Greenway Offers Free Oktoberfest Shuttle

Friday, October 11 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

Park and Ride anywhere along the route and flag the driver. The pick up and drop off point in Hickory will be in front of City Hall, located on Center St. between Main Avenue SE and 1st Avenue NE. The vehicle will pick up and drop off every 15 minutes. Call Greenway Public Transportation at 828-465-7634 for information.





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