Oktoberfest

Maiden Alley Cinema’s annual Oktoberfest celebration returns Saturday with lots of beer, live music acts, and food, along with a new location.

Oktoberfest is set for 1-6 p.m. Saturday at Dry Ground Brewing Company in Paducah. It’s the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit, and funds will help with maintaining operations, said Executive Director Rebecca Madding.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a very limited staff right now,” she told The Sun. “Right now, it’s just two of us and we’ve relied a lot on our volunteers to help us out. It’ll help us potentially hire, (and) bring more events.”

She noted that things have been different in 2021 compared to 2020, especially in the movie industry.

“(In 2020), we were showing a lot of old catalog films and classics and things like that,” Madding said. “This year, in 2021, we have had plenty of new releases, as well as mixing in some catalog films every now and then when we need to plug a hole. It’ll just help us maintain the upswing, so to speak, that we have been getting through after the pandemic.”

Back in 2019, the event attracted hundreds of attendees and raised around $30,000. In 2020, with COVID-19, Maiden Alley pivoted from its old Oktoberfest format to an event that was spread out over several days at Freight House restaurant. It involved German-inspired menu items, special cocktails and Oktoberfest merchandise.

There are some changes planned for this year, in light of COVID-19 and social distancing, as well as a need to limit overhead. Oktoberfest will be held in a new location — switching from downtown to midtown. There are also no tickets for admission this year, and it’s been a ticketed event in the past.

Madding said the music acts will be Captain Freddy and the River Cats, Pep Talk, Black Eyed Susans, Leonard the Band, and the Solid Rock’it Boosters. Kirchhoff’s Bakery & Deli and Buzzard Brothers BBQ are planned for food.

Several Kentucky breweries will also be there: Dry Ground Brewing Company, Paducah Beer Werks, Mile Wide Beer Company, The Dam Brewhaus, Against the Grain, Hopkinsville Brewing Company and Blue Stallion Brewing Company.

The nonprofit would love to raise anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, and Madding described this year as a “trial run” with the new format. All ages are welcome to attend, and nonalcoholic beverages will be available.

“We get a cut from beer sales. There’s a silent auction. We’ll be taking donations at the event,” she said. “We will have special screen printed T-shirts from Mighty Tees there.”

Maiden Alley is also partnering with Citizens Gym on a new “stein holding contest,” which involves holding up a full beer stein straight in front of you for as long as you can. Madding pointed out that it’s harder than it looks.

As for the event, Madding shared some details about the overall layout. It will expand into the Independence Bank parking lot, allowing for a little more social distancing. The stage will be in the Dry Ground parking lot, and beer vendors will be on Labelle Avenue. It will be closed to traffic between Broadway and Jefferson during the event, according to the city of Paducah’s website.

Regarding Maiden Alley, Madding said “film is an art form,” and the nonprofit works to promote film as an art form and to enhance culture through film.

“Sometimes that’s showing the latest foreign film, and sometimes that is showing a film that directly is involved with a cause, such as our event this week with Merryman House (Domestic Crisis Center), or sometimes it’s showing a bunch of little kids ‘E.T.’ for the first time,” she added.

Visit maidenalleycinema.org to learn more.

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

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