BELOIT - The dance was the Polka. The fashion was lederhosen. The drink of choice was beer. And the place to be to enjoy all this and more was downtown Beloit.
The Sixth Annual Downtown Beloit Association Oktoberfest kicked off Friday night as State Street was filled with people seeking an evening of fun and community conversations.
Chris Knipping came all the way from Minnesota and his dance partner for the evening, Erin Perkins, came from Milwaukee to enjoy Beloit's Oktoberfest.
"This is my first time here. I am just passing through Wisconsin," Knipping said, as he stood in the middle of State Street wearing lederhosen and a Bavarian hat complete with feather in the brim.
Melissa Heim was trying her hand at hammerschlagen. The goal of the game is to hammer a nail into a wooden stump. Each player gets a swing of the hammer until the nail is all the way in the stump.
The game as new to Melissa Heim but this was her third year at Oktoberfest.
"We come down to dance and listen to the music," she said.
Tom Combs was a big fan of the music as well.
"I just follow the Zweifel Brothers," Combs said of the band that kicked off the music for the evening.
Shauna El-Amin, executive director of the Downtown Beloit Association, noted the Zweifel Brothers actually started treating Beloit audiences to their music earlier in the day at Fridays in the Park in downtown Beloit.
She was pleased with the turnout for Oktoberfest.
"It's hot and humid, but it's definitely a good turn out," she said.
She recalled the first Oktoberfest when the weather was rainy and cold.
"I'll take hot and humid any day," she said.
There were plenty of food vendors for the evening. There were brats, walking tacos, and new this year was the We Go Waffle truck. The unique food vendor offered waffles with a variety of options, including with barbecued chicken, macaroni and cheese or with powdered sugar.
The Zac Matthews Band was the second band to provide the music to top off the evening. Fest-goers danced into the evening and enjoyed the last weekend of summer in downtown Beloit.