39th Oktoberfest Stage Is Set
Oktoberfest, the family-oriented German event taking place in the center of Fredericksburg, is poised to again attract 1,400 volunteers and 22,000 visitors in its 39th year. As a result, the oom-pah-pah echo of 38 previous years will carry over in the hearts and minds of people who have made the event an annual tradition, many who traverse hundreds of miles to attend. And for others, the event reminds them of Gillespie County organizations and young people who accomplish artistic endeavors, thanks to Oktoberfest proceeds.
Oktoberfest Event Producer Debbie Farquhar Reeh said the 39th Oktoberfest is set for Oct. 4-6, 2019, at MarktPlatz (Market Square). "I’m looking forward to all the camaraderie shared by folks coming from all around the United States and beyond, the excitement, and the gemütlichkeit. It’s an amazing family festival.”
The engaging sights and sounds of the annual event are of Fredericksburg’s German heritage, harkening to the first Oktoberfest near Munich in 1810, and to 1981, when Oktoberfest was first held in Fredericksburg.
Among a wide array of activities, included on Friday are:
• 5:45 pm: OkTUBAfest
• 6:00 pm: Meet the Shiner (Spoetzl Brewery) brew master
• 7:00 pm: Leinenkugel Zelt, Welcome To The Leinie Side
• 8:30 pm: NEW Strassen Zelt Waltz Contest On Saturday:
• 8:00 am: Rotary Kraut Run • 9:00 am: Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance
• 1:00 pm: Samuel Adams Stein Hoist On Sunday:
• 12 noon: Strassen Zelt 42 Tournament
• 2:30 pm: NEW Family Lederhosen and Drindl Contest
• Sunday Afternoon in Strassen Zelt: Mario’s Accordion All Weekend….
• Enjoy bratwurst - and lots of it
• Ring the bell at the High Striker (plus a junior-size striker and kiddie striker for kids)
• Do the Chicken Dance
• Play KinderPark games for children
• Eat our legendary potato pancakes, brat, and funnel cakes
• Discover oompah at its best on four stages
• Partake of a wide variety of domestic, Texas, and German beer
• Shop over 40 juried artisans from across the state who fill two big tents, offering their best arts and collectibles. In another tent, a select group of local Hill Country artists will be selling their fine art to the public in a rare showing.
• Dance, dance, dance!
• Take advantage of the Oktoberfest Shuttle Service –(departs from the Gillespie County Fairgrounds to MarktPlatz).
Oktoberfest attracts many visitors just for the shopping opportunities. Many find it the ideal opportunity to start their holiday shopping with unique, handmade gift items.
Of course, the best part of any celebration in Fredericksburg is the hearty menu of delicious German and American foods. Over a dozen vendors will be serving up a variety of sausage-on-a-stick and plates with kraut, potato pancakes, plus other scrumptious goodies. Adventurous tasters can sample over 50 varieties of German, American, Texan, and other imported beers.
Oktoberfest is a time for the youngsters as well. Kids can play to their heart’s content on the bungee jump and slide, try their hand at the high-strikers, or enjoy other fun games and activities, including a stiltwalker, magician, and face painter.
Four covered stages 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 irresistible “Chicken Dance!”
Bands scheduled to perform this year include Oma & The Oompahs, Arion Maennerchor, Comal Community Band, Jodie Mikula Orchestra, Round Top Brass Band, German Schuhplattlers, Seven Dutchmen, Walburg Boys, Polkamatics, Boerne Village Band, Fun Time Polka Band, Hermann Sons Mixed Choir, Cloverleaf Orchestra, Czech Melody Masters, Czechaholics, Czech & Then Some, Chris Rybak, Swingin’ Dutchmen, Off The Grid, Tubameisters, Fredericksburg Filharmonic, Akkordion Klub of Fredericksburg, Yodel Blitz, Sax Appeal, Mario’s Accordion, Herschel Moody, Shirley Johnson, and Isaak Klaus.
AN ANGLE ON THE ARTS
The Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance (PCAA) began and orchestrates the Fredericksburg Oktoberfest, and proceeds are used to fund youth arts and music scholarships, as well as community arts and music programs. Its success has enabled many young people to go to college and study music or the arts. The Oktoberfest proceeds also fund many local arts organizations. Debbie Farquhar Reeh has worked with volunteers to produce the charitable event since 1992.
“Oktoberfest makes it possible for us to have 16 local students studying the arts this year,” she said. “It also enables us to support local arts programs.” Ms. Reeh 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 www.oktoberfestinfbg.com, or call 830-997-481.