Black Forest Inn wants YOU to design its Oktoberfest menu cover

As a second tribute to National Bratwurst Day, here's an unusual opportunity at one of our favorite places to get wurst--Black Forest Inn:

Do you fancy yourself an artist who really loves Oktoberfest? Then you should check out Black Forest Inn's Oktoberfest menu contest. The winning design will be displayed on the cover of the restaurant's dinner menu. We spoke with Black Forest Inn's Erica Christ, who gave us a little more info on the contest and on Oktoberfest.

What do you look for in an entry?
We have enough people around here with some art background and education that obviously basic composition and color work have to be sound. Other than that, out tastes range pretty widely, so any genre is allowed. We want something that sets a mood, is eye-catching, and that we won't get tired of looking at over a month's time. Often it's clear, looking at the entries, which one suits our needs. It's not always the one that every person likes the best, but, after all, it is a menu cover. Many highly detailed small elements, no matter how well executed, often don't work. If we just can't agree, we have the whole staff cast a vote.

What are some of the best/worst ones you have seen?
We've had some very beautiful menu covers--a couple that tended toward the art nouveau style. Those are ones that people always ask if we're selling posters of. And we've had a few very eccentric ones, leaning toward the decadent or expressionist--ones that some people really like and some really don't. I'm happy with either one (and lean toward the eccentric).
The worst ones are usually those that clearly were rushed or half-thought-through. We've had ones that were in very poor taste (you can imagine, being a German restaurant). And there's the sad ones that had both weak ideas and weak execution.

What is the best/worst part about Oktoberfest?
I think the best part is that people are there very specifically and deliberately to have a good time. It can be so much fun, even working, during those moments when the celebration is in full swing and everyone is along for the ride.

Honestly, the worst part is that it is exhausting--not just the I-hope-I-can-sleep-in-tomorrow exhausting. It's mind, body, and soul exhausting. We do 10 events in 10 days. If it isn't done before Oktoberfest starts, it might not get done until the end of October.

How many sausages do you sell at a typical Oktoberfest?
About a thousand.

Any last words for those wanting to enter the contest?
You won't be able to second-guess what we'll like. So do something that you would like to see and do it well.

Black Forest Inn Oktoberfest menu contest guidelines:

  • The words "Black Forest Inn", "2010", and "Oktoberfest" must appear on the artwork.
  • Submissions are due Friday, September 17 (Oktoberfest begins Sept 24.
  • All artwork must be original to the artist.
  • Submit two 8 ½ x 11-inch copies of the artwork. The winning artist will be required to submit a copy electronically.
  • Include your name, address, phone number, and email address with your submission.
  • Include your name on the back of each copy of your artwork.
  • Artwork may be in full color.

Send artwork to:

The Black Forest Inn Poster Contest
1 East 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404

You may also drop off your submission during business hours, which are 9 a.m. to midnight every day.

This year's Oktoberfest looks to be a doozer, with Prost! Night, David Hasselhoff Night (he's big in Germany,) and Desperate Hausfrau night. We'll have more details to come.

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Black Forest Inn

1 E. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


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