Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, is the ideal destination for your next fall excursion. Here you’ll encounter breathtaking fall foliage, a rich history, and fun community events.
The town is great for fans of fall colors and is conveniently located in the scenic Susquehanna River Valley. This leaf peeper's paradise features a multitude of old growth forests that are just waiting to be photographed. The Buffalo Valley Rail Trail stretches nine miles between Mifflinburg and Lewisburg and offers parking, descriptive signage, and public restrooms. If you’re looking to take in the fall colors from your automobile, that area has great road tours. The Route 304 Loop guides you through the dense colorful forests and contrasts that with views of the area's unique small towns.
Mifflinburg is a town with a rich history dating back to the late 18th Century. It didn't receive its name until 1827, when Youngmanstown and Rotestown combined to form one community. The name Mifflinburg was chosen in honor of the first governor of Pennsylvania, Thomas Mifflin. During the mid-19th Century, the town began to grow due to the new highway system. Buggy manufacturing became the major industry in town by the 1840’s. Soon the area became one of the foremost manufacturers of buggies and that prosperity carried right up until the automobile gained popularity. The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum is the ideal place to learn about the history of the town and features unique exhibits and demonstrations.
Events and festivals in Mifflinburg attract patrons from far and wide. The Mifflinburg Oktoberfest is a popular local festival that’s returning for its 12th year. This is a celebration of the town's German heritage that is great for all ages. You’ll find German cuisine, imported beer, live music, dancers, and much more. During the second day of the event you can witness keg toss and mug lift competitions. These special events draw a big crowd, further accentuating this unique atmosphere. Take your next fall excursion to a new level of fun and head to the Mifflinburg Oktoberfest. We got to interview Cherie Ross, Executive Director of Mifflinburg Heritage & Revitalization Association, Inc., to talk about this great event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
CR: This is the 12th year of Mifflinburg Oktoberfest.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw and who are they demographically? Children? Families? Couples?
CR: We’ve seen a wide range of crowds over the past 12 years ranging from 300 to 3,500 patrons. Demographically we see everyone including young, old, families, children, couples, groups of friends, and college students.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
CR: It is two days of imported German beers, German foods (plus traditional festival favorites), German dancers, and German music, in an area that is deeply rooted in German heritage.
RAL: What activities will people find at the event?
CR: Each day has live music and German dancers, but on Saturday we have our traditional keg toss and mug lift competitions. Men and women you toss an empty beer keg as far as possible and longest toss wins after a couple of qualifying rounds. For the mug lift, men and women hold two, one-liter mugs filled with beer in each hand (four total) with arms straight out as long as possible. The longest hold without spilling, dropping or bending of arms wins.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
CR: We have featured German bands each evening. This year it’s John Stevens Doubleshot Polka Band on Friday evening and the Bavarian Stompers on Saturday evening.
RAL: What dining options will there be?
CR: There will be multiple vendors that will have options including German potato pancakes, brats, schnitzel, sauerbraten, burgers, fries, BBQ, and soups.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
CR: The Mifflinburg Hotel, which is a historic building in town, offers a “safe ride” program. Anyone who stays overnight at the hotel will be provided, upon request, free transportation to and from the Oktoberfest event. There is also a B&B in Vicksburg, just east of town, and a B&B just south of town.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
CR: It definitely brings people to town and the restaurants, shops, and hotels are all full that weekend.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
CR: We are a nonprofit that provides assistance to local businesses, recruits businesses, and promotes the community. We own and have totally restored an 1806 church which we use as a performing arts center and some of the proceeds are used for the maintenance and repair of that building. We own another 1836 historic building, but have not yet secured sufficient funding to restore that one.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
CR: This is fun for all ages It is as close to a German Oktoberfest in Munich as we can get and takes place in a historic German community. The atmosphere is fun, with dancing, beers imported from Germany, and plenty of food. Many people even wear traditional German outfits to the festival.
For more information about Mifflinburg Oktoberfest, please visit their website.