By Rita M. Reali
Circle Oct. 19 and 20 on your calendar. It’s time for Crossville Oktoberfest.
Hosted by Knights of Columbus Council 8152, the 28th annual event takes place that Friday and Saturday at the K of C grounds, 2892 Highway 70 East, three miles from downtown Crossville.
Featuring continuous live music both days, along with traditional German food and beer, Crossville Oktoberfest has earned its reputation as the premier German-American festival in the Cumberlands. It’s become a favored attraction among autumn visitors to the area, many of whom flock to Tennessee for “leaf-peeping” season or to enjoy some cool-weather golf, hiking, or other outdoor activities. Thousands of folks come from across Tennessee and beyond; last year’s event drew attendees from as far away as Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.
And not even bad weather can dampen the festive spirit—Crossville Oktoberfest goes on rain or shine, beneath the pavilion and in the enormous tent set up on the grounds.
The merriment begins at 11:30 Friday morning, Oct. 19, with the ceremonial tapping of the keg and presentation of a proclamation to the festival’s Lord and Lady Mayor— whose identities are a closely guarded secret until the start of the event. Many revelers specifically plan to be on hand for the kickoff events.
Three authentic German bands will provide continuous live music from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., throughout the two-day festival. The Frank Moravcik Band, the Rheingold Band, and the Crossville-based Bavarian Echo have become perennial favorites at Crossville Oktoberfest.
Those attending may choose from among five entrees of German food—all prepared on site. These include pork schnitzel (breaded pork loin), chicken schnitzel, smoked bratwurst (a Northern German pork sausage), knackwurst (a Northern German sausage made from ground pork, ground veal, and fresh garlic) and weisswurst (a traditional Bavarian sausage made of minced veal and back bacon). Side dishes are spaetzle (buttered egg noodles), red cabbage, and sauerkraut. For dessert, there’s German chocolate cake or cheesecake.
A full meal (entrée, three sides, and dessert) is $10; kids’ meals (hot dog, chips, and dessert) are $5. All menu items are available a la carte. Soft drinks, pretzels, and a wide variety of imported and domestic beers are also available for sale. Plus, there’ll be plenty of free peanuts and popcorn for between-meal snacking.
Admission at the gate is $7.50. Children under 14 get in free. Advance single-day admission tickets ($6) are available at these local businesses: both Cancun Mexican Restaurant locations, Sears of Crossville, Best One Tire & Auto, The Lace Place & Chocolate Emporium, Romo’s Mexican Restaurant, Crossville Heating & Cooling, Physicians’ Associates, and Star Realty.