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CT Oktoberfest Begins Thursday in New Britain


NEW BRITAIN —  Want to be a part of the state’s largest Chicken Dance? Or sample the best in German specialty foods from Frank ‘n Stein? Or listen to the sounds of Schactelgebriger Musikanten-even if you can’t pronounce this authentic German ban’s name?

Then pack a picnic basket this weekend and trek to downtown New Britain at the Connecticut Oktoberfest. Thousands are expected to take advantage of nonstop live entertainment, great food and German specialty beers in the center of the city Friday through Sunday, September 13-15.

Admission to Oktoberfest New Britain is free — this includes two stages of entertainment for the three days of the festival.  Secure parking is FREE in the three city garages.

The City of New Britain and the New Britain Lion’s Club is sponsoring  this event, with almost two dozen bands ranging from authentic German to funk, foods from the Frank ‘n Stein menu (many varieties of hot dogs and cold beer, get it?), and activities for kids, such as the Rock Cats Fun Zone, and on Sunday at 2 p.m., the formation of Connecticut’s largest chicken dance.

“New Britain will find its niche with Oktoberfest,” said Nick Augustino, the festival’s organizer. Augustino’s East Side Restaurant will provide the food and beer for the celebration, which will be served by volunteers from local churches and non-profit organizations, which will benefit financially, too.  Augustino, who has been contracted to host Oktoberfest for next eight years, said the festival will create long-term business in the city.

“I have been bringing people into the city with my advertising and billboards for 13 years,” said Augustino. “I expect we will see 12,000 people over the course of three days, and I’m prepared for more. Our forefathers built New Britain as a center for industry. Now, with all the highways coming through the city, I think we have the infrastructure to be a center for festivals.”

The New Britain Rock Cats will be coming to this year’s Oktoberfest, along with Petco. Petco will have a petting zoo set up as part of a “fun zone” for children. The festival, he said, coincides with National Dog Adoption Weekend.

Ann Pilla, volunteer and entertainment coordinator at the festival, said there would also be a gigantic chicken dance Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Nick will lead the largest chicken dance in Connecticut in a parade from the VIP area,” she said.

To check out this year’s  exciting lineup, go to ctoktoberfest.com.

 

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