When he wanted to bring something new to Mount Pleasant, Eric Bliss looked no further than the celebration of the German fall harvest.
The 200-year-old tradition – and quality beer – led the manager of Mountain Town Station to push to expand the Oktoberfest celebration each of the three years since its beginning.
“It started out as just a keg party,” Bliss said. “Now, we’re going for a more complete theme; more of an escape for Mount Pleasant. We’re really trying to stick to the roots, but adapting to the community.”
After the first incarnation of Oktoberfest was a local success, Bliss and his colleagues at the restaurant realized they had created the beginning of a legacy.
“We received a lot of positive feedback about extending it to more than just one night,” Bliss said.
In its second year, Oktoberfest extended to two days and began serving food to patrons. Bliss hoped the added services would help complete the image of traditional German beer festival.
With higher-profile bands, and an expanded schedule, Oktoberfest gained popularity after last year.
The success led organizers to move the event from the restaurant into a large tent set up behind the building.
“We decided, ‘Let’s make it a real bona fide beer tent,’’’ Bliss said. “We’re trying to give our take of Oktoberfest to the people of Mount Pleasant.”
Over the years, Oktoberfest has garnered the support and sponsorship from several local businesses.
Smith and Sons Meat Processing began making the brats last year, and B’s Music Shop has rented out equipment for the stage show.
“Local business is the real focus,” Bliss said. “We just try to keep it as local as possible. It’s about beers, brats and great people.”
The event has also been sponsored by radio stations 104.3 FM and 95.3 FM.
Disc jockeys introduce the bands and host special events, such as a sausage eating contest.
“There’s a lot of history that goes with Oktoberfest. We wanted to bring the traditions of Oktoberfest to Mount Pleasant,” Bliss said.