THE OCTOBER AUTHENTIC-FEST
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Consistently Delivers an Authentic Celebration
The true spirit of Bavaria comes to life in Big Bear Lake for six and a half consecutive weekends starting Saturday, September 15 and ending October 27, 2012. The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest represents Southern California’s most authentic Oktoberfest, which takes pride in being the closest thing to the original celebration in Munich, Germany. Big Bear Lake is situated in an Alpine environment with evergreens trees, mountain vistas, and a town-square village that reflects the scenery and heritage of the Bavarian Alps of Germany.
To top it off, Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest was founded 42 years ago by German immigrants Hans and Erika Bandows. In recent years, the event has been handed off to their daughter Monica who keeps family traditions alive. Other key factors that puts Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest high on the charts for authenticity is the event brings an actual band from Bavaria, serves Warsteiner beer (imported from Germany), dance troupes perform customary dances, bratwurst is from a German butcher in Los Angeles, and fresh apple strudel is delivered weekly from a German bakery in Downey!
Baumstamm Sägen (log sawing) competitions were part of Crown Prince Ludwig’s wedding celebration in 1810 that inspired the original Oktoberfest in Munich. The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest continues the tradition with multiple log sawing contests each day to test the might and agility of its patrons. Log Sawing consists of two-person teams that use an old-fashioned large saw-tooth saw placed on a sawhorse, and the team that cuts the log in half the quickest wins.
Another great thing that sets Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest from other Oktoberfests is its organizers find new ways to entertain the guests. Expect more zaniness than ever with the addition of two new contests. The first is “Shoot and Yodel,” a contest that get guests to use their vocal talents. Each contestant takes a shot of Jagermeister, then immediately belts out their best version of a Swiss Alps yodel. The “Shoot and Yodel” winner is determined by the audience’s response of jeers and cheers.
Big Bear Lake: The October Authentic–Fest
The other new contest this year is “Okto-Bier-Pong.” This contest is an offshoot of the O’Douls Safe Slam Contest, which pits festival-goers against each other to see who the fastest beer drinker (O’Douls nonalcoholic beer) is. This year however, there is a twist to the game where contestants must first throw a ping-pong ball into a beer stein before chugging down the beer. The contests are held every Saturday night at 8 p.m. Winners receive a complimentary Oktoberfest beer stein. The event is timed and logged. Each weekend’s winners are invited back for the championships to be held the final weekend of Oktoberfest, October 27th, where the 2012 “Okto-Bier-Pong” Safe Slam King and Queen will be crowned.
Other fun competitions and contests include stein carrying, sausage eating, stein holding, and limbo dancing. Children’s fun and games include pretzel eating contests, kiddy mug holding matches and Midway carnival-style games. The Chicken Dance is the definitive favorite dance at Oktoberfest and always amusing. Every weekend expect to see a huge dance floor filled with hundreds of revelers clucking away to the Chicken Dance.
Bands performing this year are The Franken Power Express Band (direct from Germany), they perform the second to fourth weekends, and The Express Band, Southern California’s premier German band that perform the first weekend and the final two and a half weekends. Both bands combine a unique blend of traditional German polkas and American pop music.
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest begins Saturday, September 15 and runs for six and a half consecutive weekends through Saturday, October 27, 2012. The weekend festivities takes place at The Convention Center of Big Bear Lake located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Big Bear Oktoberfest kicks off with American’s Hero weekend on Saturday, September 15 offering free admission for all past and present military, fire fighters and law enforcement. The first three weekends (Sept. 15-16 & Sept. 22-23) general admission on Saturdays is $14 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), and $6 for children 12 and under; Sunday admission prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors with children 12 and under FREE. The next three and a half weekends (Oct. 6 to Oct. 27) general admission on Saturdays is $18 for adults, $14 for seniors (65+), and $8 for children 12 and under; Sunday admission prices $7 for adults, $5 for seniors with children 12 and under FREE. For more details regarding online ticket savings, Burgermeister Party Packs, Kindermeister Party Packs (kid’s fun packs) and general information, log on to http://www.bigbearevents.com/ or call 909-585-3000.