McKinney Main Street is preparing for non-stop activity during the upcoming annual Oktoberfest in Historic Downtown McKinney. The event launches on Friday, Sept. 27 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and continues Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
McKinney Oktoberfest is known for an authentic German appeal with traditional food, drinks and music, all set in the 164-year-old downtown area. This year, the consumption area is expanded to 14 blocks, up from a four-block radius in previous years. The festival boasts attractions for all ages amid a diverse array of specialty stores and restaurants in the historic downtown. Admission and parking is free.
“We are anxiously looking forward to greeting our guests with “Gemutlichkeit” – German for “the spirit of friendship” – at this year’s event. You can feel the energy throughout downtown as we anticipate our most successful event to date with the new expanded area and additional activities,” said Ty Lake, Director of McKinney Main Street and McKinney Performing Arts Center.
At 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, the local dignitaries and friends of the festival will lead the Oktoberfest March. Afterwards, the first keg of Franconia beer, brewed in McKinney, will be tapped by hammering the bronze spout into an over 200 year-old keg with a wooden mallet. Live entertainment will take place on two stages during the event and features evening headliners Brave Combo and Alpenmusikanten.
McKinney Oktoberfest isn’t just for those ages 21 and up. There are plenty of activities for kids and families, like a petting zoo, face painting, rock wall, Bier barrel races, Weenie Dog races, a bungee quad jump and Hans, the mechanical bull. Some children activities are free, and some activities require a nominal fee.
Even though Oktoberfest comes to us from Germany, McKinney adds its own flare to the event through opportunities to give back to the community. On Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., Spoons Cafe, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association will host the McKinney Walk – A walk to end Alzheimer’s. After the walk, guests are invited to the second annual Fastnachtsdienstag (Pancake Day). The complimentary pancake breakfast benefits the Alzheimer’s Association. Main Street has partnered with Das Klub for the Volkstoberfest VW Car Show on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Free parking is available in 12 public lots surrounding downtown. Detours are marked to access outer lots, as streets will be blocked to through traffic beginning Thursday night, Sept. 26 through early Sundaymorning, Sept. 29. TAPS will offer shuttle service to Oktoberfest from three McKinney lots from 4 – 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Shuttles leave every 30 minutes from First Baptist Church of McKinney (1615 West Louisiana St.), the Ballfields at Craig Ranch (6151 Alma Rd.) and the parking lot at Gateway (1870 Gateway Blvd.).
Story submitted by Anna Clark, City of McKinney