Main Street Square's Fruhlingsfest and Spring Market will return on Saturday, May 6, drawing hundreds to downtown Rapid City for suds and smiles.

The event, now in its fourth year, has become a favorite for Black Hills beer lovers, but it started as a "happy accident," according to Destination Rapid City Executive Director Megan Whitman.

"We initially added it after the Bierborse [fall beer market] was cancelled because of the 2013 Atlas storm, and beer enthusiasts asked us to reschedule," Whitman said. "It ended up being so successful that it became a permanent part of the schedule."

The two events compliment each other, with the Bierborse featuring fall beer favorites while Fruhlingfest (German for "springfest") celebrates local and regional craft spring and summer beers.

The event will offer a selection of more than 30 beers, with the Black Hills Beer Beverage Garden open to the public beginning at 11 a.m. and available for anyone 21 or over who does not wish to purchase a tasting ticket.

For those eager to try everything available, however, an unlimited tasting pass is available, giving a wristband for unlimited beer tastings and a souvenir pilsner glass, as well as a free pretzel necklace for those who pre-purchase their passes online.

The first 100 people to pre-purchase an unlimited tasting pass, meanwhile, will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win two free-tasting passes to Bierbörse at Main Street Square on Saturday, Oct. 7. One name will be drawn after the pre-sale closes at noon on Friday. The winner will be notified between noon and 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Pre-ordered tasting passes will be available for pick up on the day of the event at Will Call in the Visitor Information Center, located on the north side of Main Street Square. Tasting passes and additional pretzel necklaces ($2) and souvenir pilsner glasses ($3) may also be purchased at this location on the day of the event.

The event will featured an expanded platform, according to Whitman.

"We're shutting down Sixth Street for the first time," Whitman said. "We're going to extend the tasting area on the street, extend vendor booths, give people room to spread out and enjoy all the things the event has to offer."

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Participating breweries will include Hay Camp Brewing Company, Firehouse Brewing Company, Lost Cabin Beer Co., Miner Brewing Company and Fargo Brewing Company. Food vendors will include Big Jer's Corn Shack, Sergeant Poppers Kettle Corn and more. Activities will include a German beer-holding strength contest and live music.

Parking will free throughout the day in all downtown public lots, metered spaces and in the parking ramp near Main Street Square, giving people a chance to explore downtown.

"I think it's become a mainstay because it signals that summer activities are around the corner," Whitman said. "People are ready to enjoy nice spring weather and start connecting and gathering downtown again for the season."

For more information or to purchase an unlimited tasting ticket, visit mainstreetsquarerc.com/concerts-and-festivals/fruhlingsfest-and-spring-market.html.

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