CHATHAM – What better way to follow up Saturday's special town meeting than a visit to the town's annual Oktoberfest?
After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Oktoberfest is back in Kate Gould Park with a day-long festival of food, music and games sponsored by the Chatham Chamber of Commerce and Merchants Association. Events begin at 10:30 a.m. with a Bubble Party with Maureen and continue through 4:30 p.m.
The free event will follow COVID protocols, according to organizer Jenn Allard. Signs will remind people about social distancing, and hand sanitizer stations will be available, as will masks. There will even be a “decorate your own mask” craft for kids, she said.
“Everything else will be the same” as past Oktoberfests, she said.
Music begins at 11 a.m. with the Chatham Band performing at the Whit Tileston Bandstand, followed at noon with a kids' costume parade, the Grab Brothers at 12:30 p.m. and Club 9 Ball at 2:30. A growler (a 32- or 64-ounce beer) holding contest will be ongoing between noon and 3 p.m.
Games for the whole family will also be set up in the park amid the Pumpkin People, along with face paintings and crafts.
In the parking lot along the Chatham Bars Avenue side of the park food and beverage vendors will be selling traditional seasonal fare. They include the Captain's Table, Mom and Pops, Greek Caffeina Cafe, the Handsome Oyster Co., Chatham Ice Cream Bars, Fraulein's Bakery, and the Devil's Purse Beer Garden.
Several nonprofit organizations and other vendors will be at the event, including Witches on the Water, the William Raveis Charitable Foundation, Islands by Erin, Slyk Shakes, Chatham Works and Farache.
Last Tuesday, the select board approved permits for the festival allowing alcohol on town property, the outdoor display and sale of goods and a one-day entertainment permit.