The Kernersville Oktoberfest Returns in 2021
By Suzanna Ritz
Körner’s Folly’s annual fundraiser brings the community together for exceptional, local food and beverages for a great cause.
The Körner’s Folly Foundation is pleased to announce a return to our roots with an in-person community celebration this fall. On Saturday, October 2, from 3 – 6 pm, the 11th Annual Kernersville Oktoberfest will be held on the lawn of Historic Körner’s Folly.
The innovative artist and designer Jule Körner, grandson of the town’s founder, Joseph Kerner, built this distinctive home at 413 South Main Street in 1880 to serve as a living catalogue for his clients, as well his studio and gathering place for friends and family. Once married, he and his wife Polly Alice set about renovating and repurposing the imposing structure to better suit family life, which resulted in a fascinating home containing twenty-two rooms spread throughout three floors and seven (and a half) levels.
Over the years, the house passed out of use as a family home and was at risk of demolition, but Körner’s Folly was rescued by a dedicated group of citizens and family descendants. They listed the home on the National Register of Historic Places, and have operated the building as a historic house museum since 1993 with the formation of the Körner’s Folly Foundation.
Dedicated to preserving and restoring this unique architectural treasure and landmark for the education and enjoyment of the public, the Körner’s Folly Foundation offers programs and events to help locals and tourists alike discover what life was like in the Victorian era.
As the Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Kernersville Oktoberfest is not only a way to contribute to a great cause, but a fun afternoon filled with the best local food and beverages the Piedmont has to offer.
The event itself, traditionally held on the first Saturday of October, is in the spirit of a true Oktoberfest, a nod to Jule Körner’s grandfather’s roots in the town of Furtwangen im Schwarzwald, in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany. Local breweries and restaurants use this history as inspiration for their contributions, offering tastings of seasonal brews and bites that are sure to impress and delight attendees.
Andy Kennedy, owner of The Brewer’s Kettle and longtime Kernersville Oktoberfest sponsor, noted that supporting the event is a pleasure as a business owner. “We love coming out to Oktoberfest each year, because it gives us the opportunity to stay involved in our community, and celebrate the preservation work that Körner’s Folly does.” Andy is planning on bringing imported Old World Oktoberfest brews, as well as a selection of local seasonals for sampling at this year’s event.
Kernersville Brewing Company, Red Oak Brewery, and RH Barringer are also returning beverage sponsors, serving autumnal flavors and fun at this year’s event. Gypsy Road Brewing will be featuring their popular Oktoberfest Märzen along with a new Festbier option traditionally served at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. The Hoots Beer Company, located in the West End area of Winston-Salem, which has sponsored the event since 2013, will be serving their Zinzendorf Oktoberfest, which is a German style Märzen, as well as the brewery’s signature Gashopper India Pale Ale. First-time sponsor Stardust Cellars of Wilkesboro will be joining in the celebrations this year with some delicious offerings, including their refreshing Traminette wine, red Riserva blend, and Ancestral Mead. We will also welcome Folly’s Draft & Snack this year as a first-time sponsor, pouring their special collaboration with KBC brew “Folly Me to Folly’s,” and popping fresh popcorn on-site.
Returning food sponsors include Cake & All Things Yummy, bringing their can’t-miss cupcake flavors including pumpkin spice, white chocolate almond, and black forest, as well as Exxon Low Price Mart & Grill, serving up their crowd favorites including fried chicken and okra, onion rings, and potato wedges. C&H Cafeteria will also return with their pumpkin bread pudding with warm apple-bourbon glaze, and of course there will be traditional bratwursts with or without sauerkraut for all to enjoy.
Before settling into the lush grounds of Historic Körner’s Folly to enjoy all the samples on offer, make sure to take a self-guided tour of the home to view the many restoration updates we have been working on! New room restorations include the Foyer, Library, and Children’s Playrooms.
Special thanks are in order to this year’s presenting sponsors, including Backyard Leisure, Kernersville Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance, for their support of the Körner’s Folly Foundation.
Tickets are $35 per person (21+ only). Don’t forget to pre-order this year’s 11th Annual Kernersville Oktoberfest t-shirt, featuring a super-soft unisex style that can be picked up in time to wear to the event. Tickets may be purchased online at www.KornersFolly.org and typically sell out quickly. Each ticket admits one person into the event, which includes food and beverage tasting, souvenir glass, and a self-guided tour of historic Körner’s Folly. We hope to see you there!