Festival expands hours, hopes to bring more German
By Joe Hadsall Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Last year’s inaugural Oktoberfest, held downtown, did well despite some serious competition.
“’Extreme Home Makeover’ was in town and that was battling us a little bit,” said Matt Osborn, owner of Way Beyond Events. “We didn’t have any way to track a hard-nosed number, but guessing on what we saw, we think we had upwards of 5,000 throughout the day.”
Organizers hope for even more during Saturday’s event, held in the 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street. Last year’s lineup of contests, music, food and drink will return, as well as some new features, including:
The YEA Foundation, a non-profit group that works with troubled youth, will bring an exhibition of BMX bicycling and skateboarding. Starting at 11:30 a.m., the group will perform hourly demonstrations.
The official T-shirt displays a partnership with Restore Joplin. Proceeds from T-shirt sales will benefit tornado recovery efforts.
A second vendor, Heart of America Beverage Company, joins the Missouri Restaurant Association in hosting the outdoor biergarten. More than a dozen beers will be on tap, Osborn said, including seasonal craft beers. Half of the proceeds from the biergarten will go to scholarships for high school students into the food