Oktoberfest Features Live Music, Fish Fry, And More

Plans are coming together for the 5th annual Oktoberfest Saturday on the Blue Rapids Square.

The event is sponsored by the Blue Rapids Fire Department and the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. Proceeds from the event go toward the 4th of July fireworks display in Blue Rapids.

“We are real excited this year, we are hoping for a big crowd,” said Ryan Woodyard, chief of police for the city of Blue Rapids and member of the volunteer fire department. “When we started this five years ago it was all about making more money for the fireworks and we’re hoping we can make our show bigger.”

The event starts at 4:00 p.m. with live music and a beer garden.

The fish fry begins at 5:00 p.m.; the meal includes catfish, homemade baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, potato chips, and tea. A freewill donation will be collected.

Woodyard and Dave Sanner are in charge of the fish. “We caught the fish and we do the fish,” Woodyard said.

The Bryton Stoll Band kicks off the evening of music at 4:00 p.m. They will perform Stoll’s original songs from his debut album that came out last August; they will also play new songs that have not been recorded. Fun country tunes and classic rock tunes are also on their playlist.

“We are going to have some really good beer songs to go along with this event,” Stoll added.

Stoll describes his band’s sound as country rock. They put a lot of work into each performance, but make sure they have fun along the way. “At the end of the day we’re doing it so we can put on a good show,” Stoll said. “When other people have fun we have fun.”

Band members are Stoll, guitar and vocals; Nic Stoll, drums; Mark Lattner, bass; and Austin Vogler, lead guitar.

When Stoll’s band leaves the stage, Kevin Mac and his band will perform Classic Country Jukebox. Mac’s band puts a fresh spin on countless country classics engaging the audience and taking requests along the way. They put together a feel-good show that leaves the audience smiling while taking a memorable trip back in time.

Their set features songs by some of country music’s legendary artists: Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Hank Williams, Sr., George Strait, and Dolly Parton.

“I want to pay homage to the ones who came before me,” Mac said. “I grew up on this stuff, and I love playing those classic country songs.”

Mac has opened for Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, and The Band Perry. He is looking forward to his debut performance in Marshall County. “I want it to feel like I am sitting in my living room singing for you,” he said.

The event culminates with the party band Rewind playing from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. The band plays rock and roll from the 1950s until the present.

Scott Keller, the band’s lead singer and guitar player, says they are a rock group and they enjoy playing for crowds. The group has been together for nearly two years; in that time band members have developed specific roles and know what to do from set up to tear down.

In preparing for the show, they keep a list of their favorite songs. “We take requests,” Keller said, “and we pull stuff out of our hats, too. We play whatever it takes to get the crowd going.”

Other band members are Jerry Horton, guitar; Rick Lister, bass; Matt Bonser, drums; and Sterling Clark, piano.

In addition to the fish fry and music, there will be activities for kids from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Bouncy houses and an obstacle course will be on the square.

For more information about the event people may contact Woodyard at 785-562-1197 or Brad Ekiss, president of the arts cooperative, at 785-562-4024.

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.