Two-day OctoBeer Fest

Posted: October 17, 2013

The Winchester Star

Dario Savarese of Full Circle Marketing and Jane Danchisen Pittman, associate vice president for alumni affairs at Shenandoah University, team up for the OctoBeer Fest this weekend in downtown Winchester. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

Winchester — Downtown Winchester will take on an old world feel this weekend with the new OctoBeer Fest.

Music, beer and wine, food, games and other activities will combine the feel of a traditional Octoberfest with a modern street party, said Dario Savarese, event coordinator and owner of Full Circle Marketing.

The company will host the event along with the City of Winchester and the Old Town Development Board. The event is the latest in a line of events held this summer and fall to draw attention and business to downtown.

“We are trying to do similar events with the same time and location so people can become familiar with them and see what is going on. It becomes consistent,” Savarese said.

The event will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday in a gated area between the lawn of the Old Court House Civil War Museum and the Feltner parking lot.

General admission is $5 per day and 12 and under free with an adult.

The offerings Friday will lean more toward the traditional German festivities, with a costume contest for the best lederhosen and dirndl and music by The Edelweiss Band.

The contest is to help people get in the spirit of the event, he said. The winner will receive an overnight stay at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

The Edelweiss Band has been playing authentic traditional Bavarian music since 1959, said band leader Bill Weinig, who has played with the group 25 years.

The six members play a selection of traditional and modern instruments, including tuba, alpenhorn, trumpet, clarinet, accordion, drums and guitar, he said. Songs typically are polkas, waltzes and marches.

“People can tap their toes, clap their hands and dance,” said Weinig of Warrenton. “Sometimes people form lines, lock elbows, swing back and forth and do a march.”

The activities continue Saturday with performances by Push to Start (rock and R&B), The Nathaniel Davis Band (rock) and Souled Out (party band), said Pete Buchbauer, booking agent for Full Circle Marketing. “These bands are basically well known local cover bands.”

One of the offerings that will run both days is the selling of German craft beers and wines from Germany, Austria, France and Italy, Savarese said. “The focus of the event is a fun Bavarian theme.”

A tasting costs $5 and includes a glass and three tastings of wine or beer. A special advance tasting for $10 covers admission and four tastings.

There will also be televisions with seating areas and social games, such as cornhole and Ultimate Pong.

In a collaboration with Shenandoah University, OctoBeer Fest will be a stop on the Young Alumni Old Town Crawl Friday on the Loudoun Street Mall, said Meredith Cox, associate director of alumni affairs. As part of Homecoming weekend, alumni pay $5 to participate and then have four spots they are supposed to visit and purchase something.

The first 100 alumni participating in the crawl receive free admission and then will buy something inside, she said.

“It was serendipity that this all came together, and we were able to work it out and bring it all together,” she said. “He has bands and dancing and cornhole, so that is something we get to offer to our alumni, which is exciting, too.”

Information

OctoBeer Fest will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday in a gated area from the lawn of the Old Court House Civil War Museum and the Feltner parking lot. General admission is $5 per day and 12 and under free with an adult. Contact 540-722-8700 or go to oldtownwinchesterva.com.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com