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Those in and around Carmel interested in getting an early jump on celebrating the coming fall season are in luck — the city is putting on its annual Oktoberfest event on September 20 at the City Center from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The event is free to the public and open for all ages, and Melanie Brewer, project manager with the City of Carmel, says there will be something for everyone at the annual event.

“Oktoberfest is an opportunity to celebrate German music and food while discovering everything City Center has to offer, all while watching a beautiful sunset over the Palladium and Center Green,” she says. “It is often seen as a last-chance musical blast of the summer and a great reason to welcome fall in Carmel.”

The event started 11 years ago as a cooperative effort between the City of Carmel, the Carmel Chamber of Commerce (now OneZone) and the family of Merchant Square businesses back in 2009, and eventually moved to City Center three years later. Brewer says attendance has grown steadily each year from approximately 1,200 in 2012 to nearly 6,000 in 2018. According to Brewer, the City expects at least 6,000 attendees to join in on the dancing and dining festivities this year.

Brewer adds that there will be a wide range of food options for patrons to enjoy, including Matt the Miller’s Tavern, Books & Brews, Hubbard & Cravens Coffee Company and, for the first time, The Cake Bake Shop. And of course, there will be plenty of bratwursts to go around.

“We look forward to expanding food and beverage stations for everyone,” she says. “We will host an additional 10 beer taps to meet the needs of our growing crowd. We also coordinated to include domestic beer as well as more water and soda options to purchase.”

On the entertainment front, back by popular demand is Polkaboy, a high-energy, 14-piece musical act that plays a range of styles from waltz to polka to classic rock. They’ll be performing their unique musical stylings on the City Center’s upper deck.

Gwendolyn Rogers, owner of The Cake Bake Shop, says she’s excited to be included as a vendor for the first time after opening for business on July 1.

“We’re very excited about the event,” she says. “We’re kind of like the jewel box of the Center, just because at night it lights up and is really beautiful and being part of City Center we’re happy to be a part of Oktoberfest.”

Cake Bake will be offering champagne in souvenir plastic glasses in addition to a selection of sweet treats, served directly from one of the store’s windows.

Attendees will have the option of browsing the additional City Center shops, many of which will be open during the hours of the event, and kids are welcome.

“Kids enjoy this event no matter what,” Brewer says. “They join in the fun on the dance floor and explore the plaza area with as much enthusiasm as adults.”

Books & Brews will be joining in as a vendor, with three beers available on tap, for the third year in a row – and owner Alex Stanley says the event has a special place in his heart.

“The first year we were a vendor was a month before we actually opened our store,” he says. “We were in the middle of the scramble to get our store ready to open and we got to take this one special day to be a vendor at Oktoberfest and it was just so much fun to be a part of. Pouring beer, talking to all the people that come through our line while listening to the live music on a beautiful September night in Indiana is really hard to beat.”


Presented by: City of Carmel

Where: Carmel City Center (at the corner of City Center Drive and South Range Line Road)

When: Friday, September 20, 2019

Time: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Additional info: Event is free and open to the public for all ages. Food vendors include Matt the Miller’s Tavern, Books & Brews, Hubbard & Cravens Coffee Company and The Cake Bake Shop. Entertainment provided by 14-piece band Polkaboy on the upper deck at City Center.

Public parking available via open public street parking and in the Veterans Way Garage at Carmel City Center on Monon Green Boulevard off of Rangeline Road.

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