Participants test their stein-holding chops at last year's Oktoberfest in Grangebel Park. Photo: Alek Lewis

Update (6:20 p.m.) The Oktoberfest festival in Grangebel Park has been canceled Saturday due to potential inclement weather, but celebrations will carry on in the form of a downtown beer crawl instead.

Event organizers decided not to reschedule the festival to the original rain date of Sunday due to the forecast. Instead, indoor celebrations will still be held at the following downtown breweries:

  • North Fork Brewing Company
  • Peconic County Brewing
  • Tradewinds Brewing
  • Long Ireland Beer Company

The festival this year will look more like an “impromptu beer crawl,” according to the event organizers. Revelers are encouraged to don their costumes and celebrate at participating local breweries, who will offer specials and other Oktoberfest-themed offerings for the occasion.

“We tried to figure out a way to keep the event going,” said Diane Tucci, event logistics and marketing coordinator. “I love that the group came up with an idea to continue to support our local businesses after so many months of planning.”

Original story: Grab your lederhosen and dirndl and head down to Grangebel park this weekend for the second annual Oktoberfest celebration.

The event, organized by the East End Tourism Alliance and the Business Improvement District, will feature local beer and wine tastings, traditional Oktoberfest foods, live music and contests. 

Local breweries, including Long Ireland Beer Company, Tradewinds Brewing Company, Peconic County Brewing Company and North Fork Brewing Company, will provide the “bier,” while German-inspired food and pretzels will be served by Seaside Grill.

The event will also feature music by the Bratwurst Boys, a local band specializing in Oktoberfest music.

The first annual Oktoberfest last year drew hundreds of revelers.

Downtown Riverhead’s first Oktoberfest drew crowds for a night of costumes, music and local brews. File photo: Alek Lewis

The event will also feature a “Maskrugstemmen” stein-holding contest, during which participants will be tested on how long they can hold a fully filled stein aloft in proper form.

Any beer dripping or spilling over the lip of the stein will automatically disqualify the participant. Whichever contestant can hold their stein in the air the longest will win the contest.

The full rules are available here.

Oktoberfest-themed costumes are also encouraged, with a “best-dressed” award chosen by the end of the night.

Oktoberfest in the Park will run from 3 – 9 p.m., with the Reflextions: Art in the Park exhibit alight from dusk until 9 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

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