By Douglas W. Motley
Oktoberfest, a Lake Arrowhead tradition since 1982, found a new home this year in Waterfront Park – formerly Lollypop Park – at the end of the peninsula in Lake Arrowhead Village. This year’s Oktoberfest kicked off on Saturday, Sept. 17 and will continue, from noon to 7 p.m. each and every Saturday and Sunday, through Saturday, Oct. 29.
Admission is free with limited free seating at the back of the tented venue; those seats are first-come first-served. However, the best way to enjoy the party is to reserve a table for your family and friends, which can be done by logging onto https://www.lakearrowheadoktoberfest.com. All ages are welcome; however, you must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic beverages.
Although no outside alcohol is allowed into the venue, food, as well as non-alcoholic beverages that are sealed in their original containers, are permitted. A wide variety of traditional German food – including German potatoes, bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, coleslaw and beer and wine – is available for purchase.
While parking and admission to Oktoberfest are free, this is a cash-only event and ATM machines are located nearby. All proceeds from the event are given to Operation Provider in Rimforest, which has been helping families in need of food, clothing, school supplies and Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner since 1989.
Traditional German oompah music to dance to is provided by the Bavarian Beer Garden Band, Kalifornia Krauts and the Bluebirds. Check the event website for exact dates each band will be playing. In addition to music and dancing, there are several fun, competitive events, such as a team sausage toss, kids musical chairs, men’s and women’s stein holding and beer chugging, choke your chicken and limbo pole contests.
A highlight at a recent Saturday Oktoberfest was a choke your chicken contest, in which each of six lovely ladies volunteered to grab a five-pound rubber chicken by the neck and hold it straight out without bending their arm for up to six minutes. With five others dropping out, the winner, Stacia, prevailed in just three minutes and six seconds.
For more information on this year’s Oktoberfest, visit the event website at https://www.lakearrowheadoktoberfest.com or call Lake Arrowhead Village at (909) 337-2533.
Several hundred attendees listened to German-style bands and watched competitive events on stage in the main event tent. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)
A choke-your-chicken competition had the crowd howling.
Happy celebrants from Riverside and Lake Arrowhead are enjoying some German brew at one of a half-dozen Oktoberfest vendors.