When Octoberfest started in Lowell 35 years ago, hot dogs and desserts were served under a picnic shelter. For this year's festival, there will be 60 gallons of potato salad containing 60 pounds of bacon and a slew of other food items for folks to enjoy.
Among the choices are kielbasa sandwiches, cabbage rolls, grilled bratwurst and corned beef reuben. Members of the Lowell-Adams Fire and Rescue Department will also prepare 1,100 barbecued chickens for the crowd.
The 35th annual Octoberfest will be held Saturday and Sunday at Buell Island, seven miles north of Marietta on Ohio 60 in Lowell, and organizers have already begun preparing some of the food that will be on the menu. In fact, organizers say that's what festival-goers look forward to most.
"We usually have a very good turnout and the food is good, they say," said Mildred Schwendeman, who oversees the food preparation.
Schwendeman, 82, has been helping with the festival since it started. Although it's her job to oversee the food preparation, she gets lots of help from seven of her 10 children and members of St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Beverly, as well as others.
She said the church members peeled potatoes for the potato salad.
If you go
What: 35th annual Octoberfest.
When: Saturday and Sunday.
Where: Buell Island, seven miles north of Marietta on Ohio 60 in Lowell.
What: Live music, food, arts and crafts, flea and antique market, raffle and more.
Cost: Free admission and parking.
"If they didn't do that, we don't know what we'd do," she said.
Although the food may be the main attraction at the festival, there are plenty of other things planned. There will be a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, as well as horseshoe pitching at 1 p.m. both days. There will also be live music, as well as an arts and crafts show and flea and antique market.
"There'll be over 100 vendors," said Judy Gilham, who oversees the arts and crafts show and flea and antique market. "Some of them come from as far away as North Carolina and Florida."
There is also a raffle planned, the drawing for which is at 5 p.m. Sunday. Octoberfest President Terry Schwendeman, Mildred's son, said there are a number of donated prizes, including a homemade quilt and a gun. Raffle tickets will cost $1 per ticket or six tickets for $5.
There's also a Catholic Mass planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and a combined church service slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
The Beverly-Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce will also hold a rubber duck derby at 3 p.m. Sunday. Ducks will be sold up until that time at the chamber's booth at the festival.