BRISTOL – Immanuel Lutheran Church is ready to celebrate with its annual German Festival this Friday and Saturday.
The event will start with a festival dedication at 6 p.m., which will be followed by Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu tapping the beer keg. The festival will then continue on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.
“We are so excited to share our German traditions at the festival this year,” said Rhoda Lange, festival chair. “One uniquely German tradition is a stein-holding competition; a traditional contest of strength, typically held during the time of Oktoberfest in Germany. It has become really popular here in the states. It’s fun to participate in and fun to watch.”
Immanuel Lutheran will be teaming with Firefly Hollow Brewing for the competition, which begins Saturday at 3 p.m. The competition will have limited $20 entries. Each of these entries includes an official U.S. Stein-holding Association 1L glass stein and a full stein pour of Firefly’s Oktoberfest brew for the competition. There will also be cash prizes, Firefly merchandise and more will be given to first and second place winners.
“The biggest prize? Bragging rights,” Lange said.
Early entry tickets are available at Firefly Hollow Brewing before 2 p.m. the day of the festival.
Another featured attraction at the festival is food and there will be no shortage of it.
According to a release, there will be "roasted pork and gravy, sauerkraut, bratwurst, hot dogs, spätzle, soft German pretzels, imported German brews and wine."
Vesperplatte will also be served on Friday night only, and potato pancakes will be available all day Saturday.
The festival will also have a tented-biergarten, live music, scavenger hunts, life-sized Candy Land game and a bouncy obstacle course.
Parking is available on West and Meadow Streets, as well as at the parking lot across from the police station and City Hall on North Main Street. There will be a limited amount of handicapped parking in the Immanuel Lutheran lot.
The church is located at 154 Meadow St. in Bristol.