Dirndl-donning ladies and lederhosen-laden lads will gather the next few weeks to raise their steins in celebration of Oktobertfest across the region.
The annual Bavarian, beer and brat blowout is on, beginning this weekend in Modesto with a benefit festival in Roseburg Square and the NorCal Oktoberfest at Vintage Gardens, then continuing the next few weeks across the region.
Oktoberfest is one of the most well-known celebrations in the world, as well as one of the largest. The 16-day German festival has been held annually in Munich most years since 1810.
The celebration draws plenty of crowds in the greater Modesto region, as well, many held as fund-raisers for local organizations. Here’s a look at the larger Oktoberfests on tap locally:
• Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. – Maya Rose Children’s Fund Oktoberfest, Roseburg Square, Modesto. Forty craft breweries will be represented throughout an Oktoberfest Alley at this event that will benefit the creation of a pediatric community house in Stanislaus County. The effort is being led by Tom and Dorene Arnold of Appetéz Pub & BBQ, in memory of their late daughter, Maya Rose. In a news release, they said, “The Center will offer respite care, hydrotherapy and aquatic palliative therapy, pediatric end-of-life resources and bereavement services for both the children, families and loved ones.” VIP entrance to the Oktoberfest, $60, begins at noon; public entry, $40, is at 1 p.m. A 209 Beer Society Fest featuring home brewers and dinner is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and costs $20. Call (209) 577-5099.
• Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight – NorCal Oktoberfest, Vintage Gardens, 4342 Dale Road, Modesto. The event features an authentic German dinner, beer, games and performances by Bavarian dancers and the polka band Big Lou and her Polka Casserole. Tickets are $6 general, $19 dinner package, $29 beer package, $44 combo package with dinner, bottomless beer and glass. For more see www.norcaloktoberfest.com.
• Oct. 4, 5:30 to 10 p.m. – Modesto Oktoberfest, John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive. This is the 30th annual event presented by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. The festival features beer and wine tasting, German food, including bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut, along with live music by Flying Blind and a midway of games. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Call (209) 577-5757 or see www.modchamber.org.
• Oct. 5-6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Twain Harte Oktoberfest, Eproson Park. Twain Harte Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring its annual Oktoberfest with beer and wine tastings from noon to 3 p.m. and food supplied by local vendors. Live music, arts and crafts and a car show also are planned. General admission is free, tastings are $20 and include a beer mug. For more information, call (209) 586-4482 or see www.twainhartecc.com.
• Oct. 18, 6:30 to 9 p.m. – SOS Club Octoberfest, 819 Sunset Ave., Modesto. Traditional German menu items and beers. Jukebox music provides entertainment. Price depends on menu ordered. Call (209) 578-5801.
• Oct. 19, 1 to 6 p.m. – Hermann Sons Oktoberfest, Eagles Hall, 126 Camellia Way, Modesto. German dinner, beer and dancing. Food served from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tickets for festival and food are $15. Call (209) 524-1317 or (209) 571-2667.
Bee staff writer Pat Clark can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2312.