Well Lakeland, it’s time to pull your dirndls and lederhosen out of the closet. On September 22nd, The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce along with title sponsor, Suncoast Credit Union will present the Inaugural SwantoberFest!
This free Oktoberfest-style community event will be held in Munn Park with the inaugural keg being tapped at 5:00 pm. SwantoberFest goers can expect German-inspired competitions, German food and drink, lots of beer (root beer for the kinder) and live music by Oompah band, Europa.
According to Tora Miller, Director of Marketing & Communications at the LCoC, SwantoberFest will be replacing their annual Big Event.
“We felt there was a need for an Oktoberfest in Lakeland and we wanted to fill that need. The mission is to bring the community together for this free event to experience a different culture, learn some new traditions and songs. Also, it’s a way for our member businesses to meet face to face with the public, share what they have, and get feedback,” explained LCoC Director of Programs & Events, Rebecca Fortier.
Suncoast Credit Union is the title sponsor for SwantoberFest 2018, a business the LCoC is thrilled to partner with. “Suncoast Credit Union is also new to Lakeland and to Polk County. We’re really excited that they’re here and we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to share what they’re doing here. They’ve already opened their first location, they are opening a second location in South Lakeland. They are really great community partners.”
A staple of any Oktoberfest-style event is the beer. Bernie Little Distributors is the beer sponsor, along with Swan Brewing who is working on their own SwantoberFest brew.
For the kids, there will be a Got Candy & More Root Beer Garden where homemade root beer can be purchased. Along Kentucky Avenue, there will be Kinder Platz with free games and activities for them as well.
If you want to go all out with your SwantoberFest experience, adult and child VIP tickets are available for sale. VIP is the way to go with adult tickets including an official commemorative Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest stein, up to four complimentary beverages of your favorite beer or wine, one King’s Feast full Bavarian food plate including a pretzel, VIP shade tent with tables and chairs, table-side service, air-conditioned VIP restrooms from 6pm to 9pm in Explorations V Children’s Museum, and a VIP concierge.
The child VIP experience package offers kids an official commemorative Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest stein, the ability to compete in Schokoladenessen, two root beer beverages from Got Candy & More Root Beer Garden at Kinder Platz, complimentary bottled water, one Kinder Feast, VIP shade tent with tables and chairs, tableside service, and exclusive access to first floor exhibits and restrooms in the Explorations V Children’s Museum from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Get silly or competitive at the Outrageous Olympiad – stein hoisting, brat toss, and a mustache completion just to name a few of the German-style games. “We’re looking for a sponsor for the mustache competition, someone who can be a judge and knows a little bit about facial hair,” said Fortier. You heard it ladies and gents, so start growing them now!
A feature of the event is a business expo where chamber members and non-chamber members alike can rent exhibitor or vendor space. Vendors and exhibitors will be able to sell their products or services and keep 100 percent of their profits. According to Miller, “That’s one of the big things that is important to the chamber to offer, because even though this is a fundraiser for the chamber, we still want it to be beneficial to members and businesses in Lakeland.”
Fields Auto Group has also teamed up with SwantoberFest for a test drive promotion. The promotion started on August 25 and runs through September 21 at 6:00 pm. The first 100 people to visit and test drive a vehicle at Fields BMW Lakeland will receive a complimentary ‘Fest VOUCHER and will be entered to win a Sweepstakes GRAND PRIZE.
The Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest VOUCHER includes two beers or beverage of your choice and two acrylic official commemorative steins.
Included in the Lakeland “Stay-cation” Sweepstakes GRAND PRIZE is a chef’s table for two at The Terrace Grille, two front row tickets to a Lakeland Magic game, two passes to the Lakeland Escape Room, and two passes to 2Infinity Entertainment Center.
To snag your VIP tickets, rent vendor space, become a sponsor or find out more information about the Inaugural Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest, visit their website, www.SwantoberFest.com. Also, don’t forget to pick up a t-shirt with the SwantoberFest logo created by Stacy Tabb at Boondock Studios!
Saturday, September 22nd at 5 pm
Munn Park in Downtown Lakeland