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This year’s Oktoberfest celebration in Mandan is expected to be wet — and thus a bit smaller in scope than originally planned — but it will still feature happy hour games and more than 30 varieties of local craft beer.

Event organizers had prepared an extensive day of festivities at Dykshoorn Park ranging from pumpkin tic-tac-toe for the kids, polka music, German food and an all-day beer garden with staples like Budweiser and Coors.

Then on Wednesday, with rain in the forecast for Saturday, they made the decision to call off the activities that would take place outside of the big beer-tasting tent so that attendees and vendors wouldn’t spend the day cold and wet.

“It’s kind of sad to go through all that work, but you can’t expect them to stand out in the rain if it’s raining,” said Del Wetsch, executive director of the Mandan Progress Organization, which is planning the event.

Still, the day won’t be devoid of Oktoberfest-related events.

The official “tapping of the keg” will kick off the event at 3:30 p.m. and feature Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest beer.

Craft beer tasting will get started at the same time under the big tent and run until 6:30 p.m. It will feature beer from numerous local vendors, including Buffalo Commons Brewing Co., Laughing Sun Brewing, Dialectic Brewing Co., Bird Dog Brewing and Giddeons Brewing Co. Jerome Distributing and McQuade Distributing also will provide beer.

Several of the planned happy hour games will still take place, as they can be moved under cover, including the beer stein slide and beer stein hoisting, where participants test their arm and shoulder strength by seeing who can hold a stein in front of them the longest.

“You can stand up there for 15, 20, 30 minutes to an hour,” Wetsch said.

Tickets for the beer tasting are $30 at the event or $25 in advance until today. A list of places to purchase tickets ahead of the event is available at www.mandanprogress.org.

This marks the seventh year for Mandan’s Oktoberfest. It typically attracts a crowd of about 1,000 people on a given year, though attendance can vary depending on the weather, Wetsch said.

Oktoberfest can be a boon for businesses downtown, which tend to be open as well and offer attendees other options for a drink or a bite to eat.

“We hope that benefits the Mandan merchants,” Wetsch said.

Several Oktoberfest-related activities will still take place Saturday at the Morton Mandan Public Library next to the park. A used book sale put on by Friends of the Library will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., said library employee Barb Sandstrom.

She said the library will also host a scarecrow-making craft activity for families at 1 p.m.

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(Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.)

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