Saying ‘yes’ to No Fest


What does live music, a beer garden and apple dumplings all have in common?

All three could be found at The Seymour Brewing Co.’s No Fest at Harmony Park last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The three-day event came together as a response to the 48th annual Seymour Oktoberfest being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A variety of musicians played on the stage at Harmony Park, located adjacent to Brooklyn Pizza Co. and Seymour Brewing Co. in Seymour. There also were food and craft booths set up along Maple Avenue and in the field behind the business.

Shawn Malone, owner of Brooklyn Pizza and Seymour Brewing Co., welcomed festival attendees at the opening ceremony Thursday morning and invited Olga Otte to come up on stage to lead guests in a toast.

Otte instructed the audience to lift up a mug or pretend they were lifting one and then join in a German beer drinking song, “Ein Prosit,” followed by a cheer.

A stein hoist was held later in the day with Sean Searcy being named the winner.

Otte taught German at Seymour High School for 39 years.

“I taught that song to my students when I was teaching at the high school and Shawn was one of my students,” Otte said. “They stopped teaching German at the high school when I retired in 2010.”

Besides pizza, other food vendors included Sati Babi, Junkyard BBQ and Zion Lutheran Church’s apple dumplings.

The apple dumplings have always been a big hit at Seymour Oktoberfest, so it was no surprise when they sold out of the tasty treats at No Fest.

Pastor Bradley Akey and his wife, Sarah, manned the booth on Saturday.

“Generally, we make about 8,000 dumplings to sell at the Seymour Oktoberfest,” Pastor Akey said.

This year though, they made 5,500 based on pre-orders and how much interest they thought there might be.

“With COVID-19, we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants,” he said. “But we’ve already sold out of all the extras we made.”

The church also sold dumplings during Trinity Lutheran High School’s recent anniversary celebration.

Profits from sales are split between the church and Zion Lutheran School.

“Everybody in our congregation gets together to make the dumplings and it’s almost like an assembly line,” Sarah said. “We have all the different stations to put them together and that in and of itself is a great time.”

What has made the Zion apple dumplings so popular over the years at Oktoberfest?

“I think people love them because you eat one and it’s like comfort and home and all of that,” Sarah said. “It’s the taste of fall, but it’s warm and it’s comforting, too.”

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