The Ottumwa Courier


September 27, 2012

Oktoberfest: A taste of tradition

Festival sticks with what works, adds a couple of twists

OTTUMWA — Brats and beer may be an Ottumwa tradition, and that won’t change at Oktoberfest 2012 next week. But for those who’d like to try something a little different, the big tent will also offer some very specific wines.

“They have to be native Iowa wines, that’s the rule,” said Jack Guiter, chairman of the Oktoberfest committee. “This is the first year [we will serve] wine.”

Organizers said they’ve picked just a few Iowa wines this first year. But can any wine possibly go with a brat?

“It does for me,” said Guiter, who said others have told him they like the combination, too.

“Well, when Hy-Vee has done their wine tastings [at the Oktoberfest tent], I recall [an event where] they focused on German wine and beer,” hesaid.

Those hearty German wines were really nice with a brat, he added. But for those who like beer, Guiter said, there will be more German-style Oktoberfest beers  for 2012 — served in a bigger cup.

Of course, since the event is based on tradition, there are some things Guiter said never change.

“Our brats. The way we cook our brats, people really like them. We still use Johnsonville brats as we have for years, and we cook them over a blend of wood, wood and charcoal.”

Another part of Ottumwa’s Oktoberfest the chairman said has not changed is the “community” aspect of this community event. Everyone is always welcome, whether at the parade, the carnival or the Oktoberfest tent, where the committee works to keep things affordable. And as a popular non-profit event, the help comes pretty cheap: Everyone from the chairman to the neighbor cooking your brat is a volunteer.

Guiter said there will be bands Wednesday through Saturday night. For those who really love tradition, an oompah band will play 6-7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Oktoberfest kiddie parade will return next Friday as well — 6 p.m. — with the parade commencing at the corner of Washington and Main streets.

And next Saturday, at 10 a.m., the Oktoberfest parade gets under way in downtown Ottumwa with several entries and numerous marching bands from the area.

Attendees don’t have to buy anything, nor is there an admission fee. But the money raised through the event is donated to back to the community to do good works.

“We’ve been doing this for 39 years,” Guiter said. “We [get] one week to raise funds to give away to charitable causes.”

Rotary Chicken Barbecue Tuesday

For more than 30 years, the unofficial start to Oktoberfest week has been the Ottumwa Rotary annual Chicken Barbecue.

Expect the smoky smell of cooking chicken from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot on Market Street, right next to the Oktoberfest tent.

Tickets are available from Rotary members. 

Text Only
  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth

    OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

AP National