Oktoberfest will return, expand

Staff report


Oktoberfest on the Square will return to Courthouse Square, downtown, on Sept. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m.

The German celebration, sponsored by the Trumbull County Historical Society, will be bigger than last year’s inaugural festival, with expanded food and beverage selections, as well as a dance floor.

The Youngstown Saxon Brass Band will perform, and there will be grape stomping and strudel baking competitions, a traditional tapping of the keg and lots of authentic German food and beer.

Pre-sale tickets will be available for $25 until Sept. 27 or until sold out. Remaining tickets will be sold for $30 at the event. To purchase tickets, call 330-394-4653, email director@trumbullcountyhistory.org, or visit the Oktoberfest on the Square Facebook event page. Tickets include all you can eat and two drink tickets.

“The event is worthwhile because it provides the community the opportunity to enjoy an evening downtown while also celebrating the heritage of so many in the area,” said Kristen Petrilla, Oktoberfest committee member. “It’s an excellent chance for younger people to learn about the historical society and everything they can do to get involved.”

But why an Oktoberfest? Meghan Reed, director of the TCHS, said the German population in Warren is one that has been overlooked in most ethnic celebrations in the area.

“Beginning in the early 1800s, German immigrants were instrumental in building the city we have today,” said Reed. “Wilhelm Dietz, a local tanner, still has descendents in the area. Daniel Bishop owned a general store in ‘Bishop’s Block,’ right on Courthouse Square. Lewis Voit and his three sons were all involved in business downtown. Augustus Graeter owned a hotel on the corner of Mahoning and High that was celebrated for years. And it doesn’t stop there. Our collection of naturalization certificates and German passports from the 1920s onward show that this trend was not limited to just the 19th century.”

Oktoberfest on the Square was started in 2016 as a means of supporting the Trumbull County Historical Society’s annual programming and to expand exhibit development.

The organization, which hired its first full-time staff last year, is dedicated to sharing the vibrant history that has made Warren what it is today. Stewarding more than 15,000 items, it holds the largest collection of Warren’s history.

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