by Dennis Dalman
“Rocktoberfest” is about to transform the downtown St. Joseph area into a German-style Bavarian music-and-food festival, thanks to the St. Joseph Booster Club.
The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 3-11 p.m. on the big parking lot across the street east of St. Joseph Catholic Church, at the same location where the Joe Town Rocks concert happens every July 3.
The St. Joseph Booster Club raises money for private schools throughout central Minnesota, and Rocktoberfest is just one of its ongoing fundraisers.
Rocktoberfest, a take-off name of the world-famous “Oktoberfest” (October Festival), which is held every fall in Munich, a city in Bavaria, Germany.
The St. Joseph version, now in its fifth year, is meant to celebrate the deep German immigrant roots in central Minnesota, especially the Germanic heritage of St. Joseph.
At Rocktoberfest, there will be a 12,000 square-foot heated tent in which to sample many German-style foods and Minnesota-brewed beers. There will also be fun activities such as beer stein-holding contests, axe throwing at targets or – for the less active participants – simply sitting and tapping toes to the music or perhaps jumping up to dance.
The festival is meant to be for adults 21 and older.
Entertainment will be provided by The Bavarian Musikmeisters from 3-7 p.m. and by Rhino from 7-11 p.m.
Musikmeisters is a 25-member wind-instrument band based in the Twin Cities. Formed in 1985, the band is modeled after the traditional village bands of Germany. Wearing traditional Bavarian outfits, its members perform waltzes, polkas, folk dances and ballads.
Rhino, also Twin Cities-based, is a four-member band that performs mainly throughout the Upper Midwest. It plays rock, pop and country.
Food will be available for sale from Dana’s Kitchen Food Truck. Choices include traditional German fare like kraut noodles with kielbasa, Bavarian broccoli slaw and pretzel bites with beer, as well as more down-home American options such as pulled-pork sandwiches, french fries and loaded tater tots.
Tickets for the celebration, $7 each, can be purchased in advance online at rocktoberfestmn.com.