New details were released this week on an event officials hope will rival past City events like Main Street USA.
“This has the makings of quite an interesting event for the City of New Britain,” said Mayor Timothy Stewart. “People always wanted to resurrect something like Main Street USA to bring people together.”
Several years ago the City started a car show which brought several thousands of people to the City. Nick Augustino, owner of the East Side Restaurant who specializes in German food and entertainment, saw the show and wanted to put a whole bunch of things together for a bigger and better event and it became Oktoberfest.
The Sept. 16-18 initial plans show the event to start on the Friday with a business to business event. At 2 p.m. the first keg of beer will be opened. At 6 p.m. a German Cruise Night will take place. There will be Jaeger Girls, St. Pauli Girls, the Apple Strudel Band and the Jelly Coppersmiths.
Arts and Crafts Show will take place Saturday and Sunday. Also on Saturday will be the original Car Show with the Beermeister car. Food and entertainment will be from 4 to 10 p.m.
On Sunday morning will be a Porridge Pot with free porridge for seniors. At 2 p.m. the beer booth once again opens. Events are also planned at Trinity on Main throughout the event.
Presently, 160 Main St. will be the place to meet for “Plan So Grand” which is presently the planning group for the Oktoberfest. Plan So Grand is an LLC and will look to put on other programs as well.
“I feel Oktoberfest is a home run,” said Augustino. “I feel this is what the town is. It is the center location of where the town is. We can bring people down and show them what New Britain is. We have something to show.”
Augustino said he originally was looking to run this event in Hartford, but he decided to ask New Britain first and found a lot of interest from various groups. It is now a five- year project.
“ East Side can’t go any higher or wider so my interest was to figure out how to grow Oktoberfest,” said Augustino. “My goals are high. I’m looking for 30,000 people. Plan B calls for 50,000 people.”
Flush toilets will be in place for the event.
“In order to get Oktoberfest off the ground it is a massive project,” said Avner Krohn of Jasko Developments. “It is a tremendous amount of logistics. Oktoberfest exemplifies the City of New Britain is pro business.”
Augustino said these plans are for the next three months and others will develop after that. More activity details will be announced in the future.
“It will take the entire community to make this work,” added Stewart.
“In the eight years the mayor has been in office, we’ve seen amazing changes,” said Gerry Amodio of the downtown district. “The most amazing changes start in downtown. No town can recover without a vibrant center…something special is happening here.”