Ready for business: Vendors complete setup for Seymour Oktoberfest

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Once the clock strikes 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of October, the yellow barricades come out in downtown Seymour.

The barren streets are morphed into a small village with city workers and volunteers converging on the pavement to help set up the biggest festival in Jackson County.

Organizers have been busy over the past 48 hours setting up for the 47th annual Seymour Oktoberfest, which runs today through Saturday.

Trailers and tents were placed downtown Tuesday night before the nitty-gritty details were hammered out Wednesday morning.

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Ben Stahl, president of the festival’s board of directors who is in his third year of heading the festival, said everything was right on schedule Wednesday morning.

“We had a lot of vendors come in late on Tuesday, and the rest came in (Wednesday). The arts and crafts have started rolling in, as well,” Stahl said. “A lot of our board members and the city workers are out here putting things together. There are dozens out here helping. There are a lot of city workers that do such a great job for us.”

City police, the Seymour Fire Department and the Jackson County Health Department all do their part during the festival making sure the event is held to a high standard, while the Department of Public Works helped prep the city among a slew of jobs.

Nonprofits were allowed to open for business Wednesday with many food vendors first serving to the lunchtime crowd before the evening rush. Carnival rides and the biergarten also opened Wednesday night.

For-profit vendors and crafts will begin sales at 11 a.m. today as the festival gets in full swing.

Stahl said the festival aims to help nonprofits by giving them an extra day of sales.

“Part of our mission as an organization is community cooperation,” he said. “We want to work together. Whether it’s the nonprofits, volunteers or city workers, it takes a lot of people to get it done. It allows them to try and earn a little more for their cause.”

There are 70 food booths and 44 arts and crafts booths this year for the three-day festival, Stahl said.

“We’re basically at capacity every year,” he said. “If we have 70 food booths, we’re completely full. Usually, we have around 40 arts and crafts, so we’ve been steady the past few years.”

Stahl said there are four new food booths this year and about as many new craft booths.

“A lot of everyone’s favorite booths are here,” he said. “The kind of booths that you grow up on are most likely going to be here. There are a lot of good memories.”

With a clear forecast and temperatures starting to cool off Friday, Stahl expects another good turnout in 2019.

“We’re hoping the weather breaks and we get some cool, fall weather,” Stahl said. “We hope that a lot of our events, like the hot air balloon glow and race, go off without a hitch. Everything looks like it’s going to be a great weekend.”

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47th annual Seymour Oktoberfest schedule

Today

11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Food, activity and arts and crafts booths open

11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Biergarten open (West Second Street)

10 a.m. to noon: Baking contest (Community Foundation of Jackson County)

5 to 11 p.m.: Carnival (ride bracelets $20 at ticket booth; bracelets being honored; corner of East Second Street and Indianapolis Avenue)

6 to 8 p.m.: Registration for the baby contest (information booth)

Throughout the day: Roving musicians Spoon Man, accordionist Larry Von Essen, Sky’s the Limit stilt walking and The Graswaters

North Stage (Third and Chestnut streets)

4:45 to 5:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies featuring the Seymour High School band

5:30 to 6 p.m.: Booth awards, window decorating awards and baking contest awards

6 to 6:30 p.m.: Seymour Oktoberfest prince and princess contest

7 to 8 p.m.: Star Promenaders square dancing

8 to 10 p.m.: Brent James and The Vintage Youth

Kenny Glass Stage (South Chestnut Street)

6 to 7 p.m.: Stars and Stripes Cloggers

7 to 10 p.m.: Bluegrass performances by Hoosier Hills, Deer Creek and Monday Night Special

German American Bank Stage (West Second Street)

6:30 to 10:30 p.m.: Schulhaus 4+3 German band

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