Akron teams up with its sister city in Germany today to start a month's worth of beer, brats, and brass-band concerts for Holidayfest 2007 at Lock 3 Live! And the party begins in the heated Hutzenstub pub, with a German-themed menu of potato soup, dumplings, and sauerkraut-slathered pancakes, washed down with barrels of brew. Revelers can also make room for helpings from a pyramid of chocolate-drenched Christmas stollen doughnuts. "It is insanely good," says festival spokeswoman Beth Sheeler. "It's going to be a hit." Afterward, revelers can walk to the nearby Christkindl Market, where vendors from Chemnitz, Germany, will set up shop in 12 cottages to sell handblown holiday ornaments, pewter mugs, and ceramic beer steins. Native German figure skaters as young as 11 years old will give synchronized singles and doubles demonstrations in the park (which park?) on Ohio's largest man-made rink built especially for the holidays. And kids can frolic in KinderZone, where they'll ride a merry-go-round, make Christmas gifts, and dance to holiday tunes played by a German brass band. The fest leads up to New Year's Eve, when the city celebrates First Night Akron. "There is so much going on, whether you want to shop, skate, eat, or just hang out," says Sheeler. The fest runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays until Sunday, December 30, at Lock 3 Live!, 300 South Main Street in Akron. Admission is free. Call 330-372-2871.
Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: Nov. 25. Continues through Dec. 30, 2007