The big new plaza in front of the just-renovated Union Station in downtown Wichita will be broken in this fall with an old-fashioned Oktoberfest.
Or, as its organizers are calling it, “Bloktoberfest.”
Xclusive Event Services, the business owned by brother and sister Crystal McDonald and Cody Lathrop that includes a mobile bar tending service and a local beer truck, are putting on the German-style event from noon to 11 p.m. on Oct. 8. It will be on the Union Station plaza and along the street that goes between Union Station and the Rock Island Depot building.
It will include music, local and seasonal October beers, pretzels and a sausage contest, in which local businesses will complete to create the best sausage. It’ll also have a wiener dog contest, adult yard games and possibly beer sampling.
Lathrop said that Xclusive wants to get into the public party-throwing business and want to put on more events based around drinking holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.
The idea from an Oktoberfest was inspired by the once-popular Old Town Oktoberfest, which happened annually in the Old Town Farm and Art Market until the late 1990s. The siblings attended with their father when they were children.
“We had always known of that Oktoberfest downtown and we hadn’t been to one in a long time,” he said.
The event will be broken up into two parts. The main plaza will be open to the public and will feature Douglas Avenue Chop Shop selling sausages, a beer garden featuring local beers, and live music. Lathrop is hoping to secure at least one polka-style band.
Along the street, teams will compete to win the title of “King Wiener.” Before the event, they’ll create their own sausage mixture at the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop. Attendees will pay to sample the sausages and vote for the best. Proceeds will go to charity, Lathrop said.
Stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer.