Dining With Denise Neil

Wieners, burgers and beer: Popular ICT Oktoberfest moving, expanding

The inaugural ICT Bloktoberfest was so popular and so crowded, this year it’s moving to a bigger venue and becoming a two-day event.
The inaugural ICT Bloktoberfest was so popular and so crowded, this year it’s moving to a bigger venue and becoming a two-day event. The Wichita Eagle

Last year’s inaugural ICT Bloktoberfest party was a little too popular, and the results were claustrophobic.

Wichita loved the idea of of an outdoor fall festival featuring sausage samples, beer and wiener dog races, and an unexpectedly huge crowd of 4,000 people turned out, cramming the plaza at Union Station so full, it was difficult to move.

This year, the event’s founders – XClusive Event Services – are making some changes that they hope will improve the festivities. They’re spreading the party out over two days, moving the event to a bigger venue, adding a popular foodie fundraiser into the lineup and adding even more activities, including a car show, live music and a hot dog eating contest.

This year, the event will be on both Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14. It’ll be set up at the Wichita WaterWalk, 515 S. Main, in the field just east of the dancing fountains. Admission to both days of fun is free, though the food and drink events will require tickets.

On Oct. 13, festivities will happen from 5 to 10 p.m. The lineup will include a beer tasting, which requires a $40 ticket, a full German dinner, which also will require a ticket, food trucks, a classic car show and local live music.

Then on Oct. 14, the party will last from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will include a Oktoberfest flair costume contest, German polka bands, a sausage tasting event that requires a $25 ticket, yard games, food trucks, the hot dog eating contest, a stein hoist contest, carnival games and more.

Another big change: KETCH has decided to fold its 4-year-old Wichita Burger Battle into Bloktoberfest. It will happen from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 14. Organizers are still signing up restaurants but hope to have between 12 and 15 preparing burgers that attendees can sample. General admission tickets, which include burger samples, chips, soda and beer while it lasts, are $25, and kids 12 and under get in free. People will be permitted to come and go between the Burger Battle and Bloktoberfest activities.

“We’ve had massive interest in the event since we announced we’ll be at Bloktoberfest, so we expect a great turnout,” said Ashley Ruckman, the special events coordinator for KETCH.

Tickets for the Burger Battle are on sale now at http://ictburgerbattle.com.

Tickets for the individual events at Bloktoberfest http://www.ictbloktoberfest.com.