GALION — This city’s Oktoberfest celebration returns to the uptown area this weekend with a nod back to the event when it was an annual party in the 1970s.
Event organizer Jim Hedges has booked two hard rock tribute bands for the Saturday night finale. Ultimate Ozzy — a Black Sabbath tribute band — and Dirty Deeds Xtreme ACDC play at 7 and 9 p.m. to close out the three-day event.
“These bands aren’t good, they’re awesome,” Hedges said. “(Ultimate Ozzy) dose 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 see.”
The main stage has been moved to the square and will be set up near the gazebo.
That stage will be graced Friday night by North Central Ohio’s Jessica Hannan. She’ll take to the stage at 8 p.m. and promises another entertaining evening of country and rock and roll.
The festival is Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A beer garden is also planned on the square, which Hedges said will be policed.
There will be some new vendors this year and there will be carnival rides, including rides for children.
New this year is a merchants tent to help protect participants from inclement weather, which seems to affect Galion this time of year. As of today, the forecast for the next three days is for dry and weather that is warmer than usual. Unfortunately, hot weather and high humidity — which is expected — can sometimes lead to pop-up thunderstorms.
Hedges and a committee of six have put the final touches on the event, which will also boast craft tents, a tractor pull, an ugly-dog contest, a pie-eating contest and more family friendly events.
This is the third incarnation of the Galion Oktoberfest that has been on-going — except for just a few years — for more than two generations.
There was not an Oktoberfest in Galion in 2018 as long-time organizer Kent Gimbel stepped away from the event. Hedges said he stepped up to help run the festival because he wanted to make sure residents had one this year.
“I said I would do it so the city and the people would have one,” he said. “I started up an Oktoberfest committee that will take over next year. This is the only year I’m going to do it. I’ll let them take over.”
Food stands will line the streets. The uptown area, from Union Street to the police station — will be closed to traffic.
The craft/merchants tent 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.