GALION — Initial plans for the 2019 Galion Oktoberfest are underway with the fall festival taking place Sept. 26-28 in the uptown area.
Festival coordinator Jim Hedges and a committee of six are busy putting the final touches on event, which will boast tribute bands, a popular country artist, craft tents, a tractor pull, an ugly-dog contest, as well as a pie-eating contest.
The city did not have an Oktoberfest last year and Hedges said he stepped up to help run the festival because he wanted to make sure residents had one this year.
“I just said I would do it so the city and the people would have one,” he said. “And I started up an Oktoberfest Committee so the committee can take over next year. This is the only year I’m going to do it. I’ll let them take over.”
Hedges said a main draw to Oktoberfest will be the concert performances of Jessica Hannan, of Ashland County, who is a rising star on the country music scene, and tribute bands Ultimate Ozzy and Dirty Deeds USA.
He said Hannan will take the main stage on the square on Friday night, while the tribute bands will take center stage on Saturday night. Hedges said they are still working on getting some entertainment lined up for Thursday night, the first day of the festival.
John Gabriel, concert promoter for Tribute Star Entertainment, said the two tribute bands are putting on four concerts: a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne, a tribute to Black Sabbath, a tribute to AC/DC during the Bon Scott era, and a tribute show to AC/DC during the Brian Johnson era.
“These bands aren’t good, they’re awesome,” Hedges said. “(Ultimate Ozzy) do a good a job on the Ozzy, but they nail the Black Sabbath. And Dirty Deeds? They are over the top. They are one of the best tribute bands you’ll have at your place.”
Tasty food stands will line the streets, as will a selection of mechanical rides which will be on Harding Way West near Union Street. Harding Way — from Union Street to the police station — will be closed for the three day event, as will the square.
Hedges said the craft tents will be on Columbus Street, and anyone interested in having a spot should contact him at Memory Lane, 124 Harding Way West or call him at 419-571-9777.
He also noted there are plans for a beer garden next to the stage on the square. He noted they have their beer permit, but are waiting on final approval from Galion City Council.
Hedges said they are hoping to draw a huge crowd back to Galion for the Oktoberfest and said final schedules and times for the events will be released as the date of the festival draws closer.