Scheduled for October 8 & 9
By Angela Rogalski
The Bolivar Bullet
For nearly 40 years, Octoberfest has been the largest festival in Bolivar County, serving up food, music, arts, and entertainment for the entire family. Unfortunately in 2020, the pandemic put a temporary hold on the festivities. But, it’s back in 2021.
Octoberfest will be held October 8 & 9 in downtown Cleveland on the Green Strip. Cade Holder is director of Community Programs at the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce and said that Octoberfest 2021 is in full-swing planning and excited to be back.
“Since we were unable to hold last year’s event due to the pandemic,” Holder added, “this year we’re picking up where we left off, so it’s still the 38th Annual Octoberfest. It has been a longstanding festival that everyone enjoys and we at the Chamber are really happy and excited to bring it back with safety measures in place as far as CDC protocols so that we can still put on a really signature event for the community.”
Holder said approval from the Board of Aldermen had been given to close down an extra street on Sharpe and to expand the actual geographical area of the festival.
“We moved our concession areas around a bit and put our sponsors in a more prominent place, just to give them due credit because we could not put on a festival of this scale without the help of our wonderful sponsors and we wanted to recognize them for that. We’ve also transitioned to doing all drinks in cans, nothing on draft or being poured. We’re trying to be as safe as we can with food and refreshments. And, spreading out a bit more and making sure there’s a little less contact all around, even though it is an outdoor event.”
Holder said the event will kick off on Friday, October 8 at 5:00 p.m. with live music until 10:00 p.m. On Saturday morning, October 9, the event will start back up at 9:00 a.m. and will end with the awards ceremony for the Mississippi Delta State Barbecue Championship between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.
“We are the final event in the Mississippi Delta State Barbecue Championship,” Holder added. “Our Barbecue chair is Elise Jenkins and there has already been two other barbecue competitions in this championship: Pig Pickin’ at Delta State and the Great Ruleville Roast. And, we are the final event in that series of three barbecue competitions. We’re very happy to be bringing the final competition back this year and to welcome the teams to the downtown festival.”
Holder said everyone is encouraged to attend.
“We’ll have the majority of Cotton Row, South Bayou, and Sharpe St. blocked off in certain areas” she added. “We’ll have the north end of the Green Strip dedicated more to our arts and crafts vendors, they’ll be there on Saturday October 9. The south end of the Green Strip will be dedicated to some of our groups as well as to the barbecue teams. And more centrally located, near the Chamber and off of Court St. will be our children’s area, our main concessions area, and the main stage where the entertainment will be.”
Holder said everyone is invited to attend, however they choose to.
“This is an outdoor event, but if you want to wear a mask, please feel free to. We’re happy to be able to have the event for our community and to welcome everyone back to Octoberfest and to downtown Cleveland.”