Oktoberfest Coming To Lewisburg

This Saturday, Oktober 9, Lewisburg and the Greenbrier Valley will see the Briergarten’s inaugural celebration of good times, good beers, good food, and more.

The Briergarten in Stratton Alley is hosting an Oktoberfest, explained owner Mary Baldwin.

“This is the first one!” said Baldwin. “Next year we have plans to have a huge stage outside and things like that, where we take over the City National parking lot like they do at T.O.O.T. Our plans are only to grow it and it may [end up] that we grow to multiple weekends. It might get to the point where other businesses get involved and we become a tourist destination for Octoberfest and we end up the hub for that.”

Although COVID-19 impacted the event, it did not result in its cancellation.

“We were supposed to have our Oktoberfest on the second and we were going to expand our footprint for Taste of Our Towns,” Baldwin explained. “When it was canceled, we took the opportunity to wait another week to have it so the COVID numbers would go down. Our space is an open-air space, we feel like people aren’t stuck indoors [for it]. … This year, since we had to scale back, it was disappointing, but it was a good call by [Taste Of Our Town organizers].

Photo courtesy of Briergarten

But where does Oktoberfest come from? The answer is Bavaria.

“It originally was the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, [Germany], but now it’s basically a beer-drinking celebration,” Baldwin explained. “It’s a time to feature all the breweries and places that make beer throughout Munich and Germany and … party in the streets. … Usually, in Germany, Oktoberfest starts in September and ends at the beginning of October, but Americans tend to celebrate it during October. You might find beer-chugging contests or stein races, where people are trying to carry as many big steins of beer as they can, and they wear the traditional German dress.”

Here in the Greenbrier Valley, Oktoberfest now means German clothes, bratwurst, games, and more.

“The staff will be dressed in Oktoberfest gear. We’ll expand a little bit into the patio. I think we’re going to make the brats on the grill outside. … We’re still having some music throughout the day, we have a stilt walker [Marcus Fioravante], making balloon animals, face painting, games for kids, and poster coloring. We also have a keg curling contest at 3 p.m. where you can see how many reps you get and prizes will be awarded.”

Photo courtesy of Briergarten

A gallery of Oktoberfest art will also be on display.

“We have asked six artists to take an empty keg and decorate it and transform it into an art installation,” Baldwin said. “Those will be on display Saturday. They will be judged and the winner will be announced at 6 p.m.”

Lasting from noon to 9 p.m., the Briergarten welcomes the community to what Baldwin hopes will turn into a large, annual event.

“You can join the Facebook event to see the most up-to-date details,” Baldwin noted.

Photo courtesy of Briergarten


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