Galion Oktoberfest organizer Kent Gimbel said having his event on a seperate weekend from Connections weekend will be a great thing for both events.
“This is excellent for both events,” Gimbel said.
Connections Weekend, an event by Galion School District held in conjunction with the school’s Homecoming, is set this year for Oct. 8-10.
In past years, both events have been held on the same weekend.
Organizers are expecting 20,000 people to come to Uptowne Galion for Oktoberfest, which runs Sept. 24-26.
“We’re managing to break even on the festival,” he said.
Oktoberfest will be bigger this year as food, rides and other activities will be held from Union Street to Liberty Street.
Gimbel said ride organizers will be able to bring more rides and he’s also excited about the vendor lineup this year.
This year’s festival will be headlined by Elvis Aaron Presley Jr., who will perform Saturday night. The show will be opened by Las Vegas singer Ann Flamingo.
“Elvis was last here in 2012, which gave us our largest crowd the festival has ever seen,” Gimbel said.
Other headliners include country act Perfectly Damaged on Friday and John Kennedy Orchestra and The Semer Brothers on Thursday.
This is the 40th year of Oktoberfest in its present format. In 1920, Oktoberfest started as a one-day parade, then grew over the years. It transformed into a Mardi Gras parade during its hayday in the 1950’s. When the Galion Jaycees began organizing the festival in 1976, Oktoberfest took the shape it is known for today. The Galion Moose also led organization efforts for about two decades.
The Brush and Palette Art Gallery will hold events through Oktoberfest, including a “Chalking It Up” community wall mural from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 24-25 and Art in the Alley from noon-9 p.m. Sept. 26.
Gimbel said road closures for the festival set up will begin Wednesday by noon, at the intersections of Union Street on the west end and Liberty Street on the east end (each intersection will remain open to north and south bound traffic). Through traffic will be rerouted to Church Street.
Curfew for minors under 12 is 9 p.m., unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Curfew for minors ages 13-18 is 11 p.m. on Thursday, and midnight on Friday and Saturday.