Old Town reliant on volunteering to stay afloat

By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Volunteers have allowed Old Town to become what it is today, and are also the reason it remains such a vibrant community. Whether it be the upcoming Taste and Tour of Old Town event where guests can sample food from various restaurants in the Old Town area while touring Old Town property or Oktoberfest where visitors can dance to their favorite polka song, Old Town is known for its festivals. Festivals continue to be the heart and soul of the community. But with only one and half employees working for the Old Town Commercial Association, people dedicated to the growth of Old Town are a necessity to put on these events. Without volunteers, there are no festivals, without any festivals there is no money for the neighborhood, without any money Old Town is back to a red light district.

Festivals keep Old Town hopping

By Zachary Swiecicki
Old Town Lansing Times staff reporter

While Old Town Lansing businesses see a lull in customer traffic in the colder months, festivals are able to attract large numbers of interested travelers to the area.  

In early October, Old Town was home to Oktoberfest, a smaller, local version of Germany’s popular festival.  This two-day festival brought crowds in the thousands to the northern Lansing neighborhood.  

“This [Oktoberfest] is something we always look forward to in October,” a group of excited visitors said.  “It’s not Germany, but there’s no place we’d rather be.”

OTCA holds last Oktoberfest meeting before the event

By Justin Anderson

Old Town Lansing Times Staff Writer

LANSING-The Old Town Commercial Association met on Thursday, September 27th at Perspective 2, 319 East Grand River Ave., to discuss upcoming Oktoberfest, hosted annually by the OTCA. Oktoberfest will be held October 4th and 6th, at the intersection of East Grand River Ave. and Turner St. in Old Town, Lansing. The main issue discussed during the working meeting was the lack of advertising in East Lansing.

Polish Muslims To Headline Old Town’s Oktoberfest

By Katie Harrington
Old Town Times Staff Writer

The polka-rock group The Polish Muslims will headline Oktoberfest in Old Town Oct. 8 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.. “They are beyond unique,” said Louise Gradwohl, a communications intern at the Old Town Commercial Association and the festival director.  “They are quirky, fun and definitely fit the theme of Oktoberfest.”

The band, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, hails from Hamtramck, Mich., and calls its music fun and energetic, a mixture of music from the ’70s to today.  It has also been compared to the stylings of Weird Al Yankovik because it features comedy and parodies. “It’s our first time out in the Lansing area, and we’re really excited about it,” said Polish Muslims lead singer and guitarist Ken Kondrat.  “The organizers of Oktoberfest know us well enough to know that we’re a good fit for the festival. Wherever there’s good beer and food, we’re a good fit.”

Lauren Karas, a member of the Oktoberfest planning committee and a student at Michigan State University, suggested the Polish Muslims for Oktoberfest.  She said she got the idea from her dad, who has been listening to them for years.