The Dodge Park Farmers Market Pavilion will host a beer garden during  Sterling Heights’ Oct. 8-9 Oktoberfest event.

The Dodge Park Farmers Market Pavilion will host a beer garden during Sterling Heights’ Oct. 8-9 Oktoberfest event.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

New Oktoberfest offers concerts, food and beer

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 22, 2021


STERLING HEIGHTS — The Sterlingfest Art and Music Fair hasn’t happened two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sterling Heights officials are excited about an upcoming fall event that promises to recapture some of the concert experiences and more.  

The city is planning an Oktoberfest event Oct. 8-9 in the Dodge Park area, near Utica and Dodge Park roads. During the Sept. 14 Sterling Heights State of the City address, Mayor Michael Taylor encouraged residents to “mark your calendars” for the new two-day festival.

“Sterlingfest is the premier event every year in the city of Sterling Heights. Believe me when I tell you that the City Council and I missed hosting it just as much as you all (missed) attending it,” Taylor said.  

“But we are excited for Oktoberfest, which is going to be (a) great big party to cap off an incredible summer of events here in Dodge Park.”

On Oct. 8, The Kickstand Band will open for the Plain White T’s on the main stage, and the Kari Holmes Band and the Full Circle Project will perform at the Suds ‘n’ Sounds stage.

On Oct. 9, The Gasoline Gypsies will open on the main stage for Lou Gramm the Original Voice of Foreigner/Asia Featuring John Payne. The Suds ‘n’ Sounds stage will feature Matt Gabriel, the Swift Brothers, the Jill Jack Band and FunHouse.

The Plain White T’s and Lou Gramm had been originally scheduled to perform at the canceled 2020 Sterlingfest Art and Music Fair.

Besides the music, a beer garden will occupy the Dodge Park Farmers Market Pavilion.

Stacy Ziarko, the president and CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is focused on the Oktoberfest beer pavilion and is working with local businesses such as Blake’s in Armada and the Rochester Mills Beer Co. to arrange cider and beer for the event.  

“We’re really excited to bring something back to Sterling Heights,” Ziarko said. “We all missed Sterlingfest this summer. It’ll give us one last chance to gather together this fall.

“The farmer’s market (pavilion) lends itself to looking like a great beer pavilion. We’ll have food trucks, food vendors.”

Ziarko said the event will also feature a commemorative beer stein that people can buy as a collector’s item.

Ziarko described Oktoberfest as a larger version of some of the Thursday night summer activities happening at Dodge Park, such as the farmer’s markets, concerts and beer patio events. She called Oktoberfest a chance to have “one last hurrah before the end of the year.”

Melanie Davis, Sterling Heights’ community relations director, said the city is excited about the food trucks scheduled to be there, which include one that serves German cuisine.  

“The whole thing, it’s food, beer and music,” Davis said. “But we did want to add some Oktoberfest-type flourishes to it. Ziffel’s Schnitzel und Brats, they do all kind of schnitzel … and German-inspired food. That’s a little bit different this year because we’re doing this in the fall and not in the summer.”

Oktoberfest will run 4 p.m.-midnight Oct. 8 and 11 a.m.-midnight Oct. 9. Find out more by visiting