The sounds and smells of Bavaria will soon fill downtown Port St. Joe.
The Gulf County Chamber of Commerce will host its first ever “PortOberfest” on Reid Ave. in September.
According to chamber events manager Kristen Gerspacher, the festival aims at increasing attention to the downtown Reid Ave. area.
“Hopefully we will get a lot of foot traffic that day,” said Gerspacher.
“PortOberfest” will take place on a blocked off Reid Ave., between Fourth Street and State Highway 71, and will feature festive music, food, drink and games.
The chamber has lined up a polka band, as well other entertainers who will be stationed throughout the blocked off area in an effort get visitors moving throughout downtown.
A local Boy Scout troop will be manning the grills, cooking up bratwursts and other sausages.
Games will include challenges like who can hold a beer stein out the longest.
The inspiration for the event came from Gerpacher’s experiences in her home state of Georgia.
Gerpecher frequented the small town of Helen, GA’s yearly Oktoberfest.
“That’s the largest Oktoberfest in Georgia and their Chamber of Commerce started it 20-something years ago,” Gerspacher said. “It really is the largest economic engine for that town,”
Gerspacher would like to see the energy of Helen’s Oktoberfest brought down to the Gulf.
“I’m hoping next year that we will close all of Reid,” Gerspacher said.
Gerspacher said that outside vendors have also been scheduled and she hopes that business owners on Reid will place some of their goods outside that day.
With the end of the summer tourist season, Gerspacher hopes that open air festivals in beautiful fall weather can draw in visitors to the small town by the bay.
Gerpacher added that while PortOberfest may be a little different than previous events, she believes that the community and visitors will have a great time and enjoy the day.
PortOberfest will take place starting at 3 p.m ET Sept. 23.