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OrenKoFest returns to Orenco Station's Jerry Willey Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 6.

COURTESY PHOTOS - The annual OrenKoFest celebration returns to Jerry Willey Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 6. The festivities feature plenty of music and dancing, above, as well as a beer stein-holding competition in the afternoon.Hillsboro's very own Oktoberfest — of sorts — will be making its way back to Washington County this Saturday for the annual OrenKoFest.

The fourth annual fall celebration kicks off Saturday, Oct. 6, at Jerry Willey Plaza with arts and crafts, baked goods, beer, wine and plenty of live music.

The event kicks off at noon, with blues guitarist Christopher Worth taking the stage at 12:30 p.m., followed by dance band My Happy Pill at 4 p.m.

This year's festivities will include a beer garden and children's area with pumpkin painting and other hands-on activities, including face painting and balloon art.

For $15, contestants can participate in Masskrugstemmen, a German competition where competitors attempt to hold a full beer stein at arm's length for a long as possible. The world record for the competition is more than 25 minutes.

"Dozens of people will test their arm strength and willpower by discovering how many minutes they can hold the full glass straight out in front," said Iris Ringer, the city's special events and outreach supervisor. "It's like a reward competition on the reality show 'Survivor,' except everyone gets to eat good food before and after."

OrenKoFest draws thousands every year, and attendance has grown every year since the event started in 2015, Ringer said.

"At the end of the day, OrenKoFest is fun because it's simple," Ringer said. "We like to find a good excuse to hang out with neighbors in a relaxed setting. When you can grab a bite to eat, listen to free music, and people watch, it's pretty easy to say yes to OrenKoFest."

OrenKoFest is free to attend, but you must be 21 to enter the beer garden or buy entry to participate in Masskrugstemmen. The festival is scheduled to wrap up at 7 p.m.

By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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