NEW ULM - Oktoberfest kicks off in New Ulm on Friday with entertainment and celebrations at the Holiday Inn, and continues on Saturday with events and entertainment downtown, and the German American Day Parade.
Grand Marshal of the parade will be Joan Baeza, the granddaughter of legendary New Ulm civic leader Fred Johnson, who was instrumental in the founding of the New Ulm Public Library, in the creation of the Brown County Museum, and in the New Ulm Park and Rec Department (Johnson Field and Johnson Park are named after him).
Baeza is also the great-granddaughter of Adolph and Helena (Erd) Seiter, who were among the city's first settlers, and who owned the historic Dakotah Hotel for many years.
Proud German-Americans marched last year in the German American Parade in downtown New Ulm. The parade will be held again this Saturday in downtown New Ulm.
Festivities start even earlier on Friday. Marktplatz Mall is holding a drawing for kids at 9 a.m., giving away a Kindle Fire HD to someone who entered the Mall's drawing by solving a New Ulm History crossword puzzle. An adult's drawing will be held right after the kids drawing, with the grand prize a choice of an Adrian Peterson jersey or a Joe Mauer jersey.
Entertainment at the Holiday Inn starts at 6 p.m. with the Concord Singers performing at poolside. The official Keg Opening will be held at 7 p.m. Music and dancing will continue throughout the evening with the Concord Singers and the Bockfest Boys at poolside, and the Wendinger Band in the German Rivers Room.
On Saturday, the New Ulm Park and Recreation will hold the Hermann 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m., starting at the New Ulm Rec Center.
The German-American Parade starts at 11 a.m., and will march from the Glockenspiel at 4th North down Minnesota Street to the downtown festivities at Center Street. Families are invited to walk, with signs to indicate when their families arrived in New Ulm.
At Center Street, the Schell's Hobo Band will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Wally Pikal Band from 2 to 5 p.m.
Entertainment starts again at noon at the Holiday Inn with the Bockfest Boys, Dale Dahmen and the Beats, and the Concord Singers switching off throughout the afternoon. Sandra Lee and the Velvets will take the stage at the German Rivers Room starting at 7:30 p.m.