“In 2011, my good friend Louie Kirchhoff mentioned that he had always wanted to host an Oktoberfest in Paducah,” said Landee Bryant-Greene, Executive Director of Maiden Alley Cinema. “Then he said my favorite words, ‘I want it to be a fundraiser for Maiden Alley Cinema.’”
From there the duo formed a committee and had monthly meetings to establish exactly what the project should become. “We knew the basics. There had to be good food, great beer, and amazing live music,” she added. The team needed partners. Roof Brothers Wine & Spirits was quick to sign on as well as Etcetera Coffeehouse. Next came the perfect beer options, so for that the planners talked to Scott Shreffler at Schlafly Brewery. “As the official beer of the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival and the official sponsor of Film Brew, they absolutely love Paducah and welcome any opportunities to get more involved,” Landee said.
Through Music @ MAC, Landee and her staff had made some great connections with a host of area musicians. Early supporters were Nathan Brown and Todd Anderson of Solid Rock’it Boosters who were quick to sign on. Then Louie suggested that an Oompah band might be a great addition so the Paducah Jazz Ensemble Polka Band came on board. “The first year we had five hours to fill and had two musical acts. The PJEPB played the first hour and the Boosters filled the rest. They were a bit worn out. The day was glorious and with just over 200 attendees we counted it a grand success,” Landee remembered.
“After the first year with Louie at the helm he told me he wanted to hand over the reigns and in 2012 we had to take it up a notch,” said Landee. “We decided to host a Beer Dinner on the Friday before to get people geared up for festivities the following day. Held in the deli and catered by Laura Duff, we held our first beer dinner and sold out the house. A four-course meal with a beer pairing to accompany every course was included. Scott was giving an overview of each Schlafly beer and people were entertained by Cody Campbell on the “squeeze box” as Louie likes to call it. The bands were the same in our second year, but in 2012 I wasn’t the only one in German attire and that meant everyone had more fun. AND we got more sponsors including Go Performance and Rehab Associates of Paducah.”
So that brings us to last year’s 2013 Oktoberfest event which included the beer dinner and also an expanded venue which flowed out into Second Street of Market Square. The Community Foundation decided to move the William F. Paxton Fund Run to that day in order to cross promote the two events and it was also the day that Independence Bank sponsored a Sheryl Crow concert. “It was a BIG Paducah day to say the least,” Landee says with a laugh. “We decided to expand into Market Square to accommodate growth because by our third year we had more than doubled our attendance with more than 400 people. The music was also enhanced as we went from two acts to five. By highlighting local, regional, and national talent it was great to appeal to all tastes,” she added.
This year Oktoberfest is getting bigger and better. “We’re going to have vendors selling items as well as beer and music in two locations,” Landee explained. “We love our intimate space, but it would appear that we are growing out of it, which is why Second Street will be more widely utilized this year. The beer dinner will be at Kirchoff's on Friday, October 17. Oktoberfest will be from 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, October 18t and the official after party will take place at Shandies highlighting two of the bands from the day’s events—Solid Rock’it Boosters and The Hooten Hallers.”
The goal, Landee commented, is to keep growing the festival into a weekend long event and perhaps even a week-long event down the road. “It has been a glorious partnership between some amazing businesses and we can’t wait to keep moving forward,” Landee excitedly remarked.
Legendary Shack Shakers
The Rum Drum Ramblers
Solid Rock’it Boosters
Paducah Jazz Ensemble Polka Band
Beer Dinner (Kirchoff's) – $40
Oktoberfest – $32/advance OR $40/day of event
Oktoberfest pre-sale w/ official t-shirt – $42
Your $32 ticket includes a 24-ounce commemorative beer stein (with one fill-up, a spread of Bavarian food created by the gang at Kirchhoff's, and some GREAT live music. This year will also include vendors, music, and beer on Market Square. Oktoberfest partners include Kirchhof's Bakery, Max's Brick Oven, Roof Brothers Wine & Spirits, Etcetera Coffeehouse, Peel & Holland, Rehab Associates and many more. Festivities will take place in the area between Maiden Alley Cinema and Kirchhoff's Deli, as well as the adjacent portion of Market House Square.
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