Oktoberfest in Junction City to feature German-inspired food and games

Joe Dolezal (right from Hays, KS) plays the accordion as Ron McWilliams (left from Salania, KS) accompany's him with a tuba. The duo performed last Friday night during UPC's Oktoberfest in front of the union. (Archive photo by Evert Nelson | Collegian Media Group)

Junction City welcomes the arrival of autumn with its annual Oktoberfest. The festival includes live music, a variety of German-inspired contests, food and drinks and vendors from all over the state. Located in the heart of downtown on Washington Street, festivities will begin on Sept. 30 from 4-12 p.m. and continue on Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

According to the festival’s Facebook page, some activities include “Masskrugstemmen,” which challenges contestants to hold a one-liter stein of beer for as long as possible, and a cornhole tournament with a cash prize. Additional activities include a 5K or 10K walk and yodeling practice for all. 

A plethora of food options are available, including authentic German food such as jagerschnitzel, wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, fried potatoes and more. Vendor Teresa Penning, with Penning 4K Ranch, said she is looking forward to attending Oktoberfest as a vendor. 

“I’m really excited for the doners because lamb is something that most people don’t get to try,” Penning said. 

Penning said doners are gyro-like sandwiches which include lamb meat, cucumbers, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. On Saturday, Penning 4K Ranch will showcase their famous “Cowboy Cutlets,” which are made with pasture-raised pork and homemade buns.

Another German-inspired activity featured this weekend is “Schützenfest,” hosted by Godfrey’s Indoor Ranges and Tactical Supply. Schützenfest is a shooting competition that allows competitors to shoot at a small target from 25 yards away. 

Godfrey’s owner, Todd Godfrey, said the event is inspired by a medieval German event that included a wooden eagle figurine in an outdoor field which participants shot at. The winner will be crowned “Schützenkönig, or “The Shooting King,” and will receive 50 percent of all proceeds from the event. All other proceeds from Schützenfest will be put into the Oktoberfest fund for next year.

Junction City’s Oktoberfest guarantees a German-inspired atmosphere, flavorful food and fun that can’t be found anywhere else near Manhattan.