38th celebration to feature singing, dancing, food, drink on Marktplatz
Expected to attract some 1,400 volunteers and approximately 25,000 visitors, the 38th Oktoberfest will take place on Marktplatz, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7.
Sponsored by the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance (PCAA), the family-oriented German event will feature three days of singing and music, food and drink, dancing, special events and more.
“I’m looking forward to all the camaraderie shared by all, the excitement and the gemütlichkeit,” said Debbie Farquhar, event producer. “It’s an amazing family festival.”
• OkTubaFest on Friday afternoon, Oct. 5. All tuba and euphonium players are invited to participate.
The group will play from 5:45-6:15 p.m. just inside the front gate.
• Meet the Shiner (Spoetzl Brewery) brew master at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5.
• Welcome to the Leinie Side. Meet one of the Leinenkugel’s founders at 7 p.m. Friday.
• Rotary Kraut Run at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. (For more information, see related story.)
• Hauptstrasse (Main Street) Chicken Dance on Saturday, Oct. 6. Registration at 9 a.m. and dancing at 9:30 a.m. There are prizes for the first 380 to register.
• Samuel Adams Stein Hoist at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
• Domino Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 7, in the Strassen Zelt. Registration begins at noon and the tournament begins at 1 p.m.
Prizes will be given for the first-, second- and third-place teams.
• Lederhosen Contest at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7.
• Sunday afternoon in the Strassen Zelt — Mario’s Accordion.
Four covered stages will host a continuous parade of entertainers.
The focus is the German favorites of oompah, polka and waltzing, with a Lederhosen and Stein Hoist contest, and plenty of opportunities for dancing, including the “Chicken Dance.”
Bands scheduled to perform this year include Oma and The Oompahs, the Arion Maennerchor, Comal Community Band, Jodie Mikula Orchestra, Austin Polka Band, German Schuhplattlers, Seven Dutchmen, Walburg Boys, Polkamatics, Boerne Village Band and Boerne Village Ensemble.
Also, the Hermann Sons Mixed Choir, Cloverleaf Orchestra, Czech Melody Masters, Czechaholics, Czech and Then Some, Chris Rybak, Swingin’ Dutchmen, Off The Grid, Tubameisters, Fredericksburg Filharmonic, Akkordion Klub of Fredericksburg, Yodel Blitz, ReedMeisters, Mario’s Accordion, Herschel Moody, Shirley Johnson and Beer and Hymns with Exit 505.
• Shopping: Over 40 juried artisans from across the state will fill two tents with their best arts and collectibles.
• Art: A select group of Hill Country artists will be selling their art to the public.
• Food: An array of German and American food will be offered by over a dozen vendors.
• Drinks: Over 50 varieties of German, American, Texan and other imported beers will be offered.
• Children’s area: Youngsters can bungee jump, slide or try their hand at three hi-strikers. There will also be other games and activities, including a stilt-walker, magician and face painter.
Park and ride
Oktoberfest visitors can take advantage of a park and ride all three days of the celebration.
Parking will be available at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
Hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 5 and from 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 6.
The cost is $5 per person/day for adults and free for children eight and under.
Park and ride tickets are available for advance purchase on the Oktoberfest website until Oct. 4.
The Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance began and orchestrates Oktoberfest, and proceeds are used to fund youth arts and music scholarships, as well as community arts and music programs.
Oktoberfest started in Fredericksburg with the specific intent to support the arts and music, and it is the only fundraiser PCAA has each year, Farquhar explained.
Its success, she said, has enabled many young people to go to college and study music or the arts.
The Oktoberfest proceeds also funds many local arts organizations.
Farquhar has worked with volunteers to produce the charitable event since 1992.
“Oktoberfest makes it possible for us to have 14 local students studying the arts this year. We provide scholarships to help pay for their education,” she said. “It also enables us to support local arts programs.”
Farquhar said the event is also notable for how it comes together.
“With over 1,400 volunteers, we’re able to greet our visitors and provide an experience that is remarkable. Local residents blend with guests to create a welcoming and lively event for everyone.”
For more information, visit oktoberfestinfbg.com, or call 830-997-4810.
Friday — 6 p.m. to midnight
Saturday — 10 a.m. to midnight
Sunday — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
$8 for adults
$1 for children 7-12
Free for children 6 and under
Two-day passes — $14
Three-day passes — $18
Advance tickets available at www.oktoberfestinfbg.com