Hickory – Get ready for three days of jam-packed music, food and fun, as Hickory celebrates the 33rd Annual Oktoberfest, held in Downtown Hickory on October 12, 13 and 14, 2018.

The festival will bring carnival rides, amusement games, music, demonstrations, vendors and of course, FOOD to the area in and around the Square. Canned foods for the Castle of Cans can be dropped off at the Focus booth or at Tasteful Beans Coffee House during the festival. Last year, more than 20,000 pounds of food was collected… let’s beat our record this year.

Friday night on the Pavilion Stage, the Foothills Oompah Band kicks off the festival with German Polka in celebration of Hickory’s German heritage.

At 9:30 pm The Heather Gillis Band headlines the Pavilion Stage. Heather Gillis is the complete package as a guitar player, lap steel player, songwriter, singer and arranger. She and her band have the stage presence and confidence to appeal to a variety of musical tastes be it rock, soul, jazz, roots or gospel.

Saturday night’s headliner on the Pavilion Stage is The Jamie Trollinger Band, a three piece powerhouse blues rock trio based out of NC made up of Jamie Trollinger on guitar, and vocals, Mark “Bump” Bumgarner on bass, and Chris Phillips on drums. All of which have spent many years playing with, and alongside some of the biggest names in the music biz! Playing a mix of original material, and select covers this line up is sure to get you on your feet!

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas explodes onto the stage Main Stage on Friday night. Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored in 2015 with the Zydeco Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Cha-Chas have been voted the top Festival Band in the country according to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and USA Today and have won the coveted Big Easy award for Best Zydeco Band for several years running.

Saturday night, for Empire Strikes Brass takes over the Main Stage. Empire Strikes Brass (ESB) is a high energy Brass-Funk- Rock band hailing from Asheville. Formed on the streets of their hometown, ESB is rooted in the New Orleans Brass Band tradition of second-line parades and deep moving grooves reminiscent of old school funk.

The Singer/Songwriter Stage will host a wealth of both upcoming talent and established artists, bringing their original music to the stage. Friday night’s headliner is Casey Clark. Adam McDonough, a Nashville based singer/songwriter headlines Saturday night.

The Hickory Music Factory Stage hosts young, local musicians, giving them a place to spotlight their talent. Many of the artists that have played here in the past have gone on to musical careers of their own, so make sure to check them out!

Everyone will enjoy the Kidsfest area with performances by local talent, amusement rides and carnival games. There you will find the Susan L. Coleman Castle of Cans, sponsored by Food Lion Feeds. This will be the 20th year for the Castle of Cans. Food Lion Feeds is donating 5,000 pounds of canned goods to build a foundation for the castle through its Food Lion Feeds hunger relief initiative. Help fight hunger in Catawba County by donating food to build the Susan L. Coleman Castle of Cans-the Castle of Caring. Area churches, civic organizations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate.

Take a stroll through the vendor’s area, where you will find Fine Arts and Crafts artisans, who will have items such as pottery, jewelry, glass, fabrics, paintings and wood crafting, just to name a few. Start thinking of Christmas gifts!

Commercial vendors will fill Second Street with a wide variety of merchandise ranging from apples to handmade soaps to clothing. Many of these merchants are local vendors, so look for them!

Visit the Non Profit area of the Festival and talk with candidates running in the upcoming elections and learn about local charities.

Take a break from all the excitement and visit the many food vendors located in the Pepsi Food Court. Here you will find everything from authentic German food to funnel cake.

Hickory’s Oktoberfest is presented by Food Lion, Hickory Downtown Development Association and Piedmont Natural Gas.

2018 Sponsors: United Beverages, Food Lion Feeds, City of Hickory, Pepsi, Focus Newspaper, Charter Spectrum, WHKY, WMNC Big Dawg, Hickory Jaycees, Hickory Music Factory, Carolina West, Jackson Creative, Touring Logistics, and WSGE.

For more information about Oktoberfest 2018, guidelines or sponsorship information please visit the website www.hickoryoktoberfest.com or email info@downtownhickory.com.