Oktoberfest promises ‘party in the street’

This Oktoberfest, you’ll be able to party in the street at the Gardner Ale House, 74 Parker St., Gardner, on Saturday, Sept. 29. Gardner’s own Moon Hill Brewing Co. at the Gardner Ale House, along with the City of Gardner, present the 13thannual Oktoberfest “Party in the Street.” Admission for this event is free and open to all ages. Parker Street will be closed to traffic.

According to Gardner Ale House and Moon Hill Brewing Co. owner Rick Walton, “Each year we keep shooting for the stars, which means we aim to make it twice as big as the previous year. Part of our trick to do that is the huge music we bring in, this year featuring Roomful of Blues. It’s all hands on deck, with over 115 staff running the party in the street.”

The party begins at 11 a.m. with the ceremonial Tapping of the Keg in front of the Gardner Ale House. Gardner closes Parker Street for the day and a New Orleans Street Party atmosphere ensues, featuring craft beer brewed locally by Moon Hill Brewing Co. and authentic German fare. Also at 11 a.m., the Chair City Community Workshop’s steamrolling print project Gardner Makes! begins.

The Gardner Chair Luge, powered by the Acadien Social Club, begins at 2 p.m. Race teams convert their armchairs, sofas and barstools into soapbox derby-style racers. They will be competing for the coveted Chair Luge Trophy and $200 in $1 bills. Teams compete in costume and the event has become a legend in Central Massachusetts. “Human Bumpers” keep everyone safe. And revered Acadien Club mascot Brad Gallant clowns around dressed in this year’s “Hollywood” theme.

International superstars Roomful of Blues hit the stage at 3:30 p.m. Even though Roomful of Blues’ lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world.

“Sometimes they are the leader of the pack, and sometimes they are the keepers of the flame, but they are always one the best damn bands in the world,”Walton said.

Nick Black hits the stage at 5:00 p.m. Memphis-based Black was Victor Wainwright’s lead guitarist before starting his own band just last year. Although he certainly has “blues” roots, his new CD is a soul/pop/funk and his slinky Memphis backing band is soulful and brings the audience to their dancing feet.

The Green Sisters follow at 6:30 p.m.. The Green Sisters are a bluegrass/newgrass quartet from Worcester County. The four local sisters sing tight harmonies while switching instruments from upright bass to fiddle to acoustic guitar to banjo. These women from Massachusetts deliver authentic Kentucky soul while being totally original.

Closing the concert at 8 p.m. are local superstars Our Buddy Karl, who cover the best ’80s and ’90s rock and Ppop with showmanship, talent and down-home craziness.

Oktoberfest “Party in the Street” is located at the Gardner Ale House, 74 Parker St., Gardner. Admission is free. All-ages events start at 11 a.m. Live Music is 3:30 – 10 p.m. For more information, visit gardnerale.com.