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They’re bock – Oktoberfest board adds Maifest to Mt. Angel offerings

By Stephen Floyd

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is staging a new festival with hopes of combining the excitement of Oktoberfest with the close feeling of a small community.

The city’s inaugural Maifest celebration is scheduled for May 19 to 21, at the Mt. Angel Community Festhalle.

Co-chair Brian Bolduc said the event has its roots in traditional German festivals that celebrate the arrival of spring. He said the goal is to provide something different that still honors the community’s German roots.

“We felt like we could offer something new, something unique,” said Bolduc.

Maifest will serve as a beer lovers’ tasting event. The emphasis will be on traditional beers, ciders and wines, including special spring beers known as Maibock. These lager-style beers offer a light and vibrant balance between malt and hops, like the short and mild springs in Bavaria.

Rogue Ales & Spirits, Heater Allen Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers and Zoiglhaus Brewing Company will be among brewers providing their own take on the Maibock. In all, more than 40 varieties of beer will be on tap, as well as cider, wine and gluten-free and non-alcohol options.

Bolduc said one special feature of Maifest will be the availability of four-ounce tasters. He explained that’s not possible during Oktoberfest due to the volume of festival goers. The tasters will allow guests to sample drinks on tap and enjoy a variety of options. Tokens will be used for both tasters and traditional-sized servings.

Unlike Oktoberfest, the event will have just one venue – the Festhalle. Maifest will focus on food – German sausage and potato salad, soft pretzels, and sweet Dough Boys will be on the menu – drink and music. The musical lineup includes the Chardon Polka Band, Z Musikmakers and Festival Brass. 

Bolduc said the efforts to usher in Maifest began in 2019, with co-chair Peter Schmidt, but pandemic lockdowns in 2020 prevented organizers from opening the festival. Bolduc predicted Maifest will be a new opportunity for the community to celebrate, plus a chance to raise additional funds for scholarships and grants.

“Certainly we wouldn’t do it if we felt like there wasn’t an opportunity to generate more money for the community,” said Bolduc.

Tickets are $15 for the entire weekend, $10 for seniors. A $25 ticket package includes four taster tokens, and a $35 package includes a glass stein and five taster tokens.

Tickets and more information, including musical lineups, drinks on tap and food vendors, can be found at mtangelmaifest.org.

Mt. Angel Maifest

Mt. Angel Community Festhalle, 500 Wilco Hwy NE May 19 – 21
Friday: 3 – 11 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Music lineup includes Chardon Polka Band,
Z Musikmakers and Festival Brass.

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