Last Saturday Main Street Kent hosted their annual Oktoberfest where restaurants and vendors brought a bit of German culture to the community, along with lots of beer.
“We love to participate and be a part of the Kent scene,” said Charlie Thomas, owner of Ray’s Place. “You know, it’s kind of a community thing where everyone goes downtown, and everyone has fun with the German music and the dancers, and of course the food.”
Ray’s Place was one of the many restaurants participating in the festivities. The restaurants in the city center had special menus on the theme of German culinary culture. Vendors lined the streets selling everything from beer to pierogis and pretzels to cheese.
One of those vendors included Daisy Cakes, which sold eight different types of cake pops. Four of them included different beers provided by Platform Beer Co. Kelly Svendsen, an employee of Daisy Cakes, said the event was great for business.
“It’s been a wonderful business,” Svendsen said. “I think there are a little around 400 of us who have sold today so far.”
Daisy Cakes wasn’t the only company with a lot of sales. The Pierogi Lady appeared to be sold out as workers closed halfway through the event.
The “pierogi line has probably had a depth of 100 all day,” Svendsen said.
Ray’s Place made 600 bratwurst for the day and made some German food for Oktoberfest.
“We made the bratwurst and the German salad,” Thomas said. “And the sauerkraut that we made for the last two days.”
The event made it possible to showcase the businesses of the city center and the beauty of the region. Frank and Diane Bindreiter attended this year’s event. They have been coming for a few years now.
They said their last name was of German origin and that the event meant a lot to see their legacy celebrated.
“My parents are from Austria and my brother was born in Austria,” Frank said. “So when we see Oktoberfest, we go out, we drink the German beer, we get the food and we enjoy it.”
Frank and Diane both attended Kent State and have celebrated events in the town of Kent over the years.
Frank added that he loved to see downtown Kent recognized and that he also loved to see the community connection through this festival.
“Kent, how they revitalized downtown,” he said. “We come for the blues festival, every chance Kent does something more, we come to these events because it’s a cool atmosphere.”
Lucy Connolly is a journalist. Contact her at [email protected]