Cheers to the Folly! 8th Annual Kernersville Oktoberfest

By Dale Pennington

Körner’s Folly’s annual beer tasting brings the community together for good food, delicious drink, and a great cause.

Tasting glasses are raised. Beers sampled. And great food, music, and history are enjoyed at Körner’s Folly’s 8th Annual Kernersville Oktoberfest. History comes alive when community members taste for a cause.

On Saturday, October 6, (3-6pm) local breweries and Kernersville’s favorite restaurants will spread across the main lawn at Körner’s Folly to sample their delicious German-inspired treats. The Kernersville Oktoberfest benefits the continued operation of Kernersville’s most iconic historical house, Körner’s Folly.

This year’s event will feature a variety of Southern and German inspired treats for tasting. Try pumpkin and seasonal harvest-flavored beers from local breweries and beer shops. Don’t miss the Körner Kolsch-Ville from Kernersville Brewing Company and the Brewer’s Kettle who always have a great selection of seasonal craft beers! For food, local restaurants will be offering samples of their popular selections and local favorites such as German potato salad, mac n’ cheese, soft pretzels, and more! Don’t miss the pumpkin spice cupcakes from Cake and All Things Yummy, and be sure to get in line at the grill for a hot bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. Tastings, tasting glass, and a tour of Körner’s Folly are all included in the event ticket price.

German Roots
So why does Körner’s Folly host an annual Oktoberfest? In case the two funny dots over the “o” in Körner’s Folly (an umlaut) did not tip you off, the Körner family and Kernersville share a German heritage. Joseph Kerner, founder of the town of Kernersville, grew up in Furtwangen, in the Black Forest region of Germany. Joseph, trained as a clockmaker, set sail for America in 1785 at the age of 16. He settled in North Carolina, where, perhaps seeking kinship with those sharing his native tongue, he found the Moravian settlement of Friedland near Salem. After living in Friedland for 30 years, he purchased 1,000 acres of land at nearby “Dobson’s Cross Roads,” which then became known as “Kerner’s Crossroads” and later, Kernersville. The Kerner family name has been linked with the town ever since. (Kerner is the Americanized spelling of the original Körner name). Today, Furtwangen, Germany is one of Kernersville’s Sister Cities.

Many years after settling Dobson’s Crossroads, Joseph’s grandson, Jule Körner, built the iconic symbol of Kernersville–Körner’s Folly–which was completed in 1880. The home originally served as Jule’s interior design catalogue where clients could come to Körner’s Folly and select various architectural elements showcased throughout the house to be integrated into a custom design. With 15 different fireplaces, a menagerie of windows and doors, and hand-laid tile designs throughout the home, Jule’s clients had many choices.

One hundred and thirty-eight years later, the house still delights visitors with its whimsical design and stunning detail. The home sat vacant for a number of years until being rescued by a small group of committed Kernersville citizens in 1970. Today, the nonprofit organization, the Körner’s Folly Foundation, operates the home as a historic house museum, while working toward restoring the home’s original architectural splendor.

Tasting for a Cause
The non-profit foundation relies entirely on community support and on their largest fundraiser, the Kernersville Oktoberfest, to keep Körner’s Folly open to visitors. The Oktoberfest’s past successes have enabled Körner’s Folly to continue delighting visitors with tours of Kernersville’s iconic landmark home. Attending Oktoberfest contributes directly to the house museum’s continued operation.

In light of recent restoration projects and donations, Oktoberfest has a special mission of raising awareness for Körner’s Folly. There is renewed community interest in the wellbeing of the house and enthusiasm for the interior restoration work. Inspired by the magnitude of the restoration efforts, and determined to see it through, the Foundation is hopeful the event will spur further community awareness and excitement for Körner’s Folly in the coming year. 

This year, participants will raise their tasting glasses in celebration of the interior restoration projects. In 2018, Körner’s Folly completed the restoration of three rooms: the Smoker, Cellar, and Den. In 2019, Körner’s Folly has two more spaces slated for restoration: the North Entrance and Stairway and the Master Bedroom.

Get Your Tickets
Limited tickets are available. Tickets are $35 per person. This event typically sells out quickly, so we recommend purchasing tickets early. Each ticket admits one person to taste food and beverages. Ticket holders are invited to take a complimentary tour of Körner’s Folly from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. the day of the event to see first-hand the restoration projects Oktoberfest supports. Tours typically take 45 minutes to 1 hour, so we recommend arriving between 2-3 p.m. to check in and tour Körner’s Folly, then join the festivities on the lawn.

A piece of helpful advice is to bring a lawn chair, as seating is limited. Also, be sure to watch the weather the day of the event. It will take place rain or shine, and tickets are non-refundable.

Due to the nature of the event, only people 21 years of age and older will be admitted into the tasting area–no babies, toddlers, or strollers.

Kernersville’s heritage is deeply rooted in Germany, specifically the Black Forest area. Experience German-inspired food, drink, and hospitality right here on South Main Street in Kernersville. Pick your pour. Raise your glass. And cheers to the Folly!

Want to get involved? For event tickets, sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and other information please visit or call 336.996.7922. Körner’s Folly is open for self-guided tours Wednesdays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Guided group tours are available by appointment.

Special thanks to our current 2018 sponsors:
Kristi Idol and Associates at RE/MAX
Preferred Properties
Idol’s Gun Rack

All Year Heating and Cooling
A+ Ready Restrooms
Andy Strand
Angela’s Ale House
Authentic German Grill
BB&T, Kernersville
Best Logistics Group
The Brewer’s Kettle
C&H Cafeteria
Cake & All Things Yummy
Carmine’s Imports
ChemSource Direct
The Collegiate Shop
Columbiana HiTech
Curtis Swisher
Exxon Low Price Mart & Grill
Gypsy Road Brewing
Highland Industries
Hoots Beer Company
Kernersville Brewing
Kernersville Magazine
Kernersville Sister City Association
Lowes Foods
McDaniel & Company PLLC
Musten & Crutchfield
Myron & Angie Pearman
One Stop
OutWest Steakhouse
The Packaging Source
Ray Smith
Renee Rogers
The Reuben Rink Company
RH Barringer Distributing Company
Right Way Landscaping
Robinson & Lawing, LLP
Sauceez Fine Foods
Sixty Six Pizzeria Grill and Bar
Smith Moore Leatherwood Law
Solace IT Solutions
State Farm Insurance- Kevin Bugg Agency
Stay Alert Safety Services
Sue Williams
Veritas Construction Company
Walmart Neighborhood Market
Wilson-Covington Construction Co.

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