Oktoberfest “Party In The Street” Saturday, September 28th, 2024!

The City of Gardner has made the last Saturday in September an official city holiday: OKTOBERFEST!

Oktoberfest is celebrated throughout the world because it is devoted to beer, food, fun and families. There is no other theme. There are no saints nor civil wars nor revolutions, just mostly beer & food & fun. It’s pretty simple. In Germany, they love it so much it lasts for about 4 weeks. Maybe we can do that here in Gardner, too, someday. For now, let’s just work on this one day and make it great for all of us and for Downtown Gardner. Gardner loves to party!

We close the street party down by 8:00 PM. The pub at Moon Hill Brewing Co. and Gardner Ale House stays open a bit longer, but not too much later, for we are all tired and talked out and see only our beds in our heads.

View Schedule For The Day

11:00 AM till 8:00 PM German Beer Garden, All Day All Night
At 11:00 AM, the Gardner Ale House opens, the German Beer Garden opens, the music begins and the crowd slowly grows. This year the Hofbrahaus Bavarians, an authentic German folk band, will be pounding out the 3-3 Oktoberfest beats!

Rain or shine we got you covered.
We have the authentic German fare of sausages, sauerkraut, potato salad, and soft pretzels. We sport our Moon Hill Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest Lager and much more beer, beer, beer. We have lawn games for adults and kids’ activities, too. Our neighbor, Lakin’s Children’s Fine Apparel will be out in the street, too. We have Italian sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza to round out the festival feel.

Inside the Ale House
Inside the menu contains exquisite German fare including sausage plates, Wiener Schnitzel and whatever the kitchen comes up with this year in the way of authentic German delicacies. This finer German cuisine can only be had inside the Ale House. (You might need a break from the street!)

11:30 AM Tapping of the Oktoberfest Keg
With authentic German folk music by the Hofbrahaus Bavarians, playing in the morning, we now begin formally with this tapping and the singing of Ein Prosit. After the ceremony, the music changes to something a bit more non-ethnic and a bit more rock ‘n’ roll’y, but, decidedly nostalgic, for the Ale House owner is old and somewhat stuck in the 60s and early 70s.

1:00 PM Men’s & Women’s Steinholding Competition
“Did you know there is a US Steinholding Association devoted to the ancient German tradition of steinholding, better known as Masskrugstemmen? It’s an Oktoberfest thing and we are an officially sanctioned competition site for the Massachusetts contest. The winners go to Jack’s Abbey Oktoberfest in Framingham the following weekend to compete for the state championship dressed in Moon Hill t-shirt and hat.

You down? You feeling rough? Strong men and strong women are invited to take the stage and hoist a 5-lb mug of Oktoberfest Lager for as long as you possibly can. The contest is strictly judged and you must not spill a drop. The mug is yours if you win and it is a serious mug, actually it’s a stein. No need to sign up, just be ready with your arm on the day. The first 10 women and the first 10 men will be allowed to compete, at our Oktoberfest, the last Saturday in September. 1:00 PM sharp!”

2:00 PM Gardner Chair Luge
The Chair Luge Is Bigger Than Ever!
To miss this is sadness, to compete is insanity. The Ale House owner was insane once, and paid for it. He actually, believably, faked his own death for about 15 seconds. Some people didn’t think it was funny. He thought he was in too much pain to pull it off anyway – he had to moan and writhe, as required.

The idea is to get a chair, put wheels on it, put some kind of brakes and steering on it (if you care), don a helmet and roll downhill towards Beauregard Liquors from the Ale House. This event has been taken on by the Gardner Festival Committee, the same folks who put on the Uptown Roots Festival back in ’14. They feature “Human Bumpers”, a locally known emcee who’s shtick and costume are always a surprise, and several accidents.

3:30 Live Music on the Stage
This year the music starts at 3:30PM
Immediately following the Gardner Chair Luge, some of the region’s finest live musical acts take the stage in the parking lot across from the Ale House, as the party takes yet another turn – dancing, chilling and getting re-acquainted with people or getting to know new people with a free concert.

14th Gardner Chair Luge, Saturday, September 28th, 2023, 2:00 PM

The Gardner Chair Luge is held in Downtown Gardner during the Oktoberfest “Party In The Street” at the Gardner Ale House. The idea is to get a chair, put wheels on it, put some kind of brakes and steering on it, don a helmet and roll downhill, starting at the Gardner Ale House and finishing at Beauregard Liquors. Teams of two build their ride and race each other down the street for about 200 yards, trying not to crash, and the winner is crowned champion. A theme is chosen each year to add spice and laughter, and direct the Lugers to dress up.

Want to Sponsor or Enter the Chair Luge?
2023 Sponsor and Competitor forms are linked below, just to give you an idea of what we did last year.

2024 Forms Coming Soon!