The third annual Cooptoberfest and Cooperstown on Tap return to Cooperstown’s downtown Saturday for what has quickly become a Columbus Day weekend tradition for the village.
Organizers from the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce said they are excited to build upon previous years’ successes that have drawn large crowds to Main Street.
“This is the only event of its kind on Main Street, which makes it so special,” Chamber Executive Director Matt Hazzard said. “It brings the entire community together and continues to grow each year.”
“The event really brings the community together,” Executive Associate Hanna Bergene said. “The Cooperstown Rotary Club volunteers to staff Cooptoberfest, and the Cooperstown Lions Club volunteers to staff Cooperstown on Tap.
“There are a number of other community organizations that participate in the festivities, including Cooperstown Youth Sports, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter, Cooperstown Equine Park, the Otsego County Dairy Princess, and we hope to continue to have new organizations join us each year,” she said.
Brewery Ommegang helped create the initial event, called Cooperstown Field Days, in 2014, which was re-branded the following year, and they have been the lead sponsor of Cooptoberfest each year, Bergene said.
“It has been incredibly fun to watch this community event evolve. The first year when it was Cooperstown Field Days, I came as an attendee,” Bergene said.
“Just a few short months later, I was offered a job by the Chamber of Commerce and had the opportunity to really take a lead on expanding the event,” Bergene said.
Hazzard and Bergene said every time the Chamber hosts an event, they solicit feedback from visitors, businesses and the community to find out what they like and don’t like to help make improvements.
“Last year’s event went great, and we introduced a number of new features, such as the barrel train, a partnership with WKTV, and the presence of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile,” Hazzard said. “Additionally, we added a number of vendors to give us a well-rounded event.”
All of it returns this year, Hazzard said. “Another great addition this year is the Bassett Cupola 5K Walk/Run. It’s a great new partnership, and we hope it brings worthy attention to each event.”
The Bassett Cupola 5K starts at 10 am at the Clark Sports Center. Registration is $20 and runners and walkers should arrive by 8:30 am to receive their bibs and chip.
Visit http://bassetthealthcarenetworkcupola5k.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=9392 for more information.
Cooptoberfest kicks off at 10 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m., and there is “truly something for everyone,” Bergene said.
In addition to a full schedule of events and attractions, the Chamber said local stores, restaurants and accommodations will be ready to welcome locals and visitors, and they are preparing for a lot of foot traffic on Main Street throughout the weekend.
A variety of large bounce houses will be in the middle of the action with unlimited bouncing all day for $5. Barrel train rides will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Art on You, Too will host free face painting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cooperstown Equine Park will offer pony rides from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. An ice cream social sponsored by Stewart’s Shops will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last. New this year is a dunk tank from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I am very excited about the dunk tank,” Bergene said. “It will be fun to get a few local celebrities involved.”
The Fly Creek Fire Department will have a truck on hand, which is always popular with the children, Bergene said.
About 35 vendors will be selling assorted crafts and jewelry, she said. Live music will play throughout the day, with Council Rock Band leading off from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Hanzolo from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
CNY Cornhole will host a tournament from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with both competitive and recreational brackets. Sign up with Shayne Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the over 21 crowd can partake in Cooperstown On Tap, sponsored by Audi of Oneonta in the Doubleday Field parking lot.
Cooperstown On Tap will feature more than 100 craft beers and ciders, live music and food for purchase.
Tickets are $60 in advance and will be $65 at the door, and a VIP upgrade will permit an additional hour of sampling from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hazzard and Bergene said they think moving Cooperstown On Tap to the Doubleday parking lot will be a good change for everyone. Last year, the event took place on Main Street.
“For the last couple years we have been talking about whether a different location made sense,” Hazzard said. “For visitors, it will give them a new venue with more food options and more room.”
“Cooperstown on Tap is such a popular event,” Bergene said. “In just the few short years this event has taken place, they have outgrown the square footage they were previously in. These changes will also have a positive impact on the flow of the post office. They were so great about working with our staff to work around the setup of Cooperstown on Tap.”
Cooptoberfest and Cooperstown On Tap aren’t the only reasons to visit Cooperstown for the weekend, Bergene said. She said there are also a number of other events such as Hyde and Shriek at Hyde Hall, Tractor Fest at The Farmers’ Museum, Cider Fest at the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Local Foods, Local Spirits at The Farmers’ Market.
“It’ll be a great time,” Hazzard said. “Hopefully the weather holds off.”