Sponsored by Developmental Services Center (DSC), C-U Oktoberfest returned on Saturday with beer, Bavarian pretzels, live music, games, and food by Watson's food truck + Smith Burger Co. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The event took over the entire parking lot M in Downtown Champaign with three huge tents casting plenty of shade for people to enjoy draft beer, food, and music by the Die Musikmeisters Band, a lively band playing festive polkas, waltzes, and German music.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Draft beer was available from different beer trucks. Blind Pig had their Oktoberfest brew in addition to raspberry wheat beer and pours of set pHAZErs to Stun. Alpine Hat Party, Dank Meme, and Our Pilsner Project were on tap by Tripych Brewing. Drafts of Riggs' Oktoberfest, Hefeweizen, and American lager were available as well as other beers by distributors.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Fundraiser guests could purchase tickets to be used for beer, wine, Pepsi products, and food. There were commemorative steins for $5, too, which looked very cool and also gave stein-holders an extra three ounces for bier pours. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday, and the vibe of the event was great. People were clearly happy to be out on a weekend afternoon doing something fun.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

It's not Oktoberfest without pretzels, and these pretty pretzels were made fresh that day by Martinelli's Market, a new market coming to Downtown Champaign. Trays of Bavarian pretzels were found in two different tents, and they were still hot from the oven.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The kids activities ran from 3 to 6 p.m. and included a bounce house, sports games, face painting, balloon animals, pumpkin decorating, and a coloring station. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Watson's truck had German food on its Oktoberfest menu — and their fried chicken sandwich, of course. Watson's had German potato salad plus a special sandwich with pork weisswurst sausage on a pretzel hoagie with microgreens, radish, Bavarian mustard, and a white cabbage slaw. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Smith Burger Co was at C-U Oktoberfest, too. The friendly smashburger truck had a special burger called the Albrat Einstein, a burger with a beer brat patty, sauerkraut, and beer cheese on a toasted bun.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The last C-U Oktoberfest was in 2019 before the pandemic, and now the annual event is back and better than ever. I saw many event guests and organizers donning dirndl or lederhosen and holding steins. It was a fun, well-organized event with excellent weather in beautiful Downtown Champaign. If you missed it this year, be sure to check out C-U Oktoberfest next year.

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C-U Oktoberfest

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.