Beloit’s Oktoberfest Brings Music, Food, Crowds to Downtown

Beloit's Oktoberfest

Julie Koosman tries her hand at hammerschlagen while Richard Kaempflein looks on. They were among the p night of fun at the Oktoberfest celebration. The event, presented by the Downtown Beloit Association, feature. Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily News


BELOIT—Once again, State Street in downtown Beloit was alive with activity as the Downtown Beloit Association hosted its second Street Dance in six weeks on Friday. 


Oktoberfest offered music, dancing, food and games for all visitors. 


A group of friends were testing their skills at the traditional German game of Hammerschlagen, and having a few laughs as they made their best efforts. In the game, contestants must try to hammer a nail into a tree stump using the pointed end of the hammer. Each contestant has one swing of the hammer per turn. If they bend the nail, they can use their next turn to straighten the nail out. 


Julie Koosman had never played Hammerschlagen before, but she was having fun trying it out. “I came all the way from South Dakota to do this,” she said with a laugh.


Richard Kaempflein of Janesville said he had played the game before, but it appeared he wasn’t having any better luck than his competitors. “I’ve done it before, but I’m no good at it,” he admitted. 

Down the street, Debbie and Jerry Machula of Roscoe were enjoying a beer and the general atmosphere of the celebration. 


“We’re just here mostly to sit and chill,” Debbie Machula said. “We usually meet up with a few friends and some old classmates,” Jerry Machula said. 


Shauna El-Amin, executive director of the Downtown Beloit Association, said Oktoberfest is the second largest fundraiser for the association for the year. The first largest fundraiser is the Street Dance, which was held Aug. 5 at the same location— on State Street. 


“We hope we will have a good turnout and good profits to support the programs of the Downtown Beloit Association,” El-Amin said. 


About 60 volunteers help set up the Oktoberfest event and make sure everything runs smoothly. El-Amin and volunteers started their day early Friday as merchants set up for the sidewalk sales. Around the noon hour, the final Fridays in the Park event of the summer took place at First National Bank Plaza. 


Then, the Petunia City Square Dancing Club shuffled their feet along State Street for a square dance demonstrations. Following that, Rollin’ Whiskey provided the music for the rest of the evening.


In the Gantry area near the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue, Three Chicks and a Truck, and Tacos El Gordo were serving hungry revelers in the downtown area. 


El Amin said Oktoberfest was the last big event the Downtown Beloit Association was putting on for the summer season, but she noted other activities that the association is involved with are about to get started. 


The Fall Wine Walk is scheduled for 2—6 p.m. on Oct. 8. And, movies are being shown at the Downtown Beloit Association offices at 557 E. Grand Ave. as part of BIFF Year ‘Round. 



Downtown Beloit BIFF Year ' Round

Downtown Beloit to be site for BIFF Year ‘Round 


  • Beloit street dance draws big crowds downtown. 
  • Downtown Beloit Farmers’ Market returns Saturday.