By Ian Perrotta
It’s just a week away – the first (of hopefully many) Hamtramck Harvest Fest.
For anyone who hasn’t heard, with the success of this year’s Labor Day Festival its organizers were inspired to recreate their magic with an Oktoberfest-like event. After working behind the scenes for the last several weeks, they’re ready for next weekend’s (Oct. 16 and 17) party.
The event will be held in the municipal lot between Polish Village Café and Polonia Restaurant and will run from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. It’s a family-friendly event and the cost is just $5 for adults, $2 for kids and free for anyone 10 and under.
On the lineup for the weekend are a number of great bands as well as some of the best food and drinks around. You’ll be able to wash down your schnitzel and sauerkraut with authentic German and Polish Beer as well as Michigan-made wine, and if you’re still hungry after that there will be hot pretzels, pumpkin pie and caramel apples. For the non-drinkers, there will be spiced cider and coffee from Café 1923.
During the Harvest Fest, you can take a Historic Hamtramck Volksmarch Walking Tour with Historical Commission Chairman Greg Kowalski on both Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a hayride throughout the city on both days. If you’d rather kick back and relax, you can watch the weekend’s football games projected on the side of Polonia Restaurant, or peruse the vendors from Eastern Market that will be selling pumpkins, cornstalks and chrysanthemums. And for the kids, there will be face painting and games.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Hamtramck party without some music, and the Harvest Fest is no exception. In addition to performances by dance troupes on both days, there will be the polka music from Duane Malinowski and Eddie Blazonczyk & the Versatones as well as rock and roll by local favorites the Howling Diablos, the Polish Muslims and Danny D.
And gals — get this — during Danny D’s performance of “Hot Legs” there will be a “hot legs” competition featuring men in Lederhosen.
To kick the whole event off, the festival will adopt the German Oktoberfest’s tradition of having the mayor tap the first keg. Mayor Karen Majewski will do the honor at noon on Saturday. Later that day radio station 93.1 Doug FM will be broadcasting live from 5 to 7 p.m.
“If you didn’t get a chance to make it to the Labor Day Festival, this is the last chance of the year to celebrate Hamtown-style,” says Kathleen Bittner, a co-organizer of the festival. “Like they say, there ain’t no party like a Hamtown party!”