The annual Bavarian beer and brat blowout is about to begin.
Steins will be raised, dirndls will twirl and – oh, yes – the beer will flow throughout the region as Oktoberfest is celebrated over the next few weeks.
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 fundraisers for local organizations. One of the bigger events will be held Friday as the Modesto Chamber of Commerce offers its annual Oktoberfest at John Thurman Field.
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Here’s a look at the Oktoberfests on tap locally:
Modesto Oktoberfest – Friday: The 31st annual event from the Modesto Chamber will feature beer and wine tastings, German food, live entertainment and a midway. John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive. 5:30 to 10 p.m. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. (209) 571-6480 or www.modchamber.org.
Twain Harte Oktoberfest – Oct. 4-5: German beer and food in the beer garden, along with music, a crafts fair and kids zone, will be offered over both days of this Mother Lode event. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free, but tastings from noon to 3 p.m. are $20 for age 21 and older and include a mug. Eproson Park, 22901 Meadow Drive, Twain Harte. www.twainhartecc.com.
Hermann Sons Oktoberfest – Oct. 18: This annual celebration offered by the local Hermann Sons Lodge features a German dinner, beer and dancing from 1 to 6 p.m. at Eagles Hall, 126 Camellia Way, Modesto. $15 for food and festival. Food will be served from 1:30 to 2:30. Call (209) 571-2667 or (209) 524-1317.
Bloomingcamp Ranch Octoberfest – Oct. 18-19: This event is family friendly with craft booths featuring woodworkers, jewelry, soaps, crocheted and sewn items, plants and more. There will be games, face painting, a 4-H petting zoo and a kids area, wagon rides and a barbecue. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bloomingcamp Ranch, 10528 Highway 120, Oakdale. Free. (209) 848-0461.