Temperatures have cooled down, the rides have taken over the B & O Parking Lot and downtown street signs have changed to German.

That can only mean one thing — the Seymour Oktoberfest is almost upon us.

The 44th annual festival celebrating the community’s German heritage is the city’s biggest event of the year, attracting crowds upwards of 75,000 to 100,000 people to downtown Seymour.

It officially begins its three-day run at 11 a.m. Thursday. At that time, all food, activity, arts and crafts booths and the biergarten will open.

Downtown streets will be closed through Saturday night.

There are nearly 70 booths this year to delight festivalgoers, offering everything from authentic German cuisine to traditional Indiana fare to Oktoberfest favorites.

Besides bringing tourism to Seymour, the festival also helps many local nonprofit organizations raise money. That’s one of the main reasons the festival started back in 1973.

Read the full story and find a schedule of events in Thursday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.