New autumnal tradition for Baldwin

Civic Association holds first annual Oktoberfest


ks, oh my! These were just some of the ingredients that made last weekend’s event at the Baldwin Community Garden a crowd-drawing success.

On Oct. 7, the Baldwin Civic Association introduced a new autumnal tradition in the gardens behind the Historical Society, celebrating some of the well-known aspects of German culture: Oktoberfest.

“We are very happy with the turnout,” said Civic Association President Karen Montalbano. “People are here, they’re enjoying themselves, and we’re very happy to have all of these people come out to join us.”

This was the first time an Oktoberfest celebration was held in Baldwin, and Montalbano expected to have more trouble getting the event off the ground, but, she said, “we really didn’t have any issues, particularly since we started a little late in the process. We were really able to pull it all together.”

Hundreds of locals came to the garden behind the Baldwin Historical Society to take part in the celebration.

“It’s a great event,” said Emmanuel Doresca, a Baldwin resident and parent attending the event with his son. “They did a lot for the kids. This is a great turnout. I hoping it grows next year. It’s a great community affair, I like it.”

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Erik Mahler, president of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, who showed up in full Bavarian garb, lederhosen and all. “The Baldwin Civic Association did a great job.

“It’s wonderful for the community, and great for the Historical Society.”

Many adults visited vendor booths to sample their food and drinks, while the children played on the lawn. The event had music and games for the whole family, and featured crafts, food and beer donated by local sponsors.

Brian Vonderlinn is the owner of Liberty Links, a business that opened in Freeport in January, and he provided a variety of link sausages.

“This is my first roundabout, but I’m bringing a lot of new stuff people haven’t seen yet,” Vonderlinn said. “It’s great exposure for me as a new business, and a good way to give back.”

”We’re so happy to be able to bring some of the local microbreweries forward for people to get a chance to taste what they’re doing and what’s happening locally in and around our community,” Montalbano said.

“I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Peter Tripp, owner of Homebrews and Handgrenades, a brewery in Baldwin that also teaches people how to brew beer on their own. “I’m going to be doing an introduction to brewing, the history of Oktoberfest, and handing out some vouchers for people to take classes at the shop.”

Tripp said he wanted to sponsor the event to help support Baldwin. “Just trying to support the town that supports me,” he added.

The civic association expects this to be a new annual tradition, and Montalbano thanked all of the sponsors who donated their time and resources to make the event a success.