New Bedford’s 2011 Oktoberfest

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By Shonna McGrail

Downtown New Bedford will be host to one last festival before the cold weather is set upon us –Oktoberfest is here!  On October 1st from 3-11 PM will be the 6th Annual Oktoberfest, a party which can be considered “the last big hoorah” before we head into fall and winter.  Not only is it a great opportunity to try out some delicious seasonal beers, chow down and catch a great array of talented musical performances, it is also a charity fundraiser.

The South Coast Business Alliance (SCBA) is comprised of a group of ambitious young professionals and small business owners in the South Coast region who got together and decided they wanted to give back to the community that has brought them success.  I spoke with one of the directors of SCBA, Nick Francis, about Oktoberfest and what can be expected this year and how this event benefits the community.

According to Mr. Francis, Oktoberfest is the SCBA’s biggest fundraiser, and it’s no surprise seeing as this is a party worth checking out.  This year will feature six  bands, both local and national including Craig Demello, Rebecca Correia, and Matt Cusson, a contemporary jazz artist who has performed with an array of artists including Christina Aguilera, Brian McKnight, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder.

2011 New Bedford Oktoberfest FlyerOktoberfest Music Schedule:

  • 3:30-4:15 PM – Captain Malibu
  • 4:30-5:15 PM – Inside the Avalanche
  • 5:30- 6:15 PM – McCarthy/Legge & Friends
  • 6:30-7:30 PM – Craig DeMelo Band
  • 7:45-8:45 PM – Matt Cusson featuring Rebecca Correia
  • 9-10 PM – SO & SO

This year’s tent at Custom House Square in downtown New Bedford will nearly cover the entire lot, hopefully making this the biggest New Bedford Oktoberfest to date.  Under that tent, culinary delights will be sold by some local favorites.  No Problemo will be dishing out their beloved Mexican food, but Nick Francis told me not to be surprised if they throw in a German twist to some of the food stating, “they always do something crazy”.  Pizans will also be at the party, and Rose alley will be providing all the German food, making them the “go to” guys for your bratwurst and sauerkraut, etc.  In addition, Rose Alley will be donating the food to SCBA so that all proceeds from sales will go directly to the charities being sponsored.

Last but not least… the beer.  Oktoberfest would not be Oktoberfest without a delicious array of seasonal brews.  Nick Francis assured me that there would be a great selection from both local and regional breweries.  Local beer makers being featured include Narragansett, Just Beer and Mayflower.  Some regional selections include the ever popular Shipyard Pumpkinhead and a new offering from Maine called Baxter Brewing which will debut two new beers.

With such a great line up of drinks, food and music, the SCBA is hopeful that this will attract upwards of 2,000 Oktoberfest participants.  Tickets cost $20 dollars in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased at Rose Alley Ale House or at Pizan’s Pizza in downtown New Bedford. All proceeds will benefit both the Bristol County Children’s Advocacy Center and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.  This is the first year that Oktoberfest will repeat a beneficiary, typically selecting a different charity to support each year based on need and alliance with the mission of SCBA.  Nick Francis explained that the goals of the SCBA in giving back to the community include supporting local businesses and helping organizations that deal with at-risk youth.

Oktoberfest is this Saturday from 3-11.  If you are looking for something to do before winter creeps back to New England you should be sure to check out one of the biggest parties of the year and helping a good cause while you’re at it.

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