Lake Tahoe Oktoberfest
Fall in Tahoe means the changing colors of the aspens, gearing up for Halloween, the last chance to swim before the winter sets in, and, of course, Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest events begin pre-October this year with Tahoe City’s Annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Commons Beach from noon to 5 p.m.
Patrons can enjoy craft beers from regional microbreweries, live music, vendors, food, crafts and more. In addition to food and drink, there will also be Bavarian-themed games and crafts in celebration of Oktoberfest's folk roots. Several food vendors will also be dishing up German food during the festivities. This Oktoberfest event is free for the community to attend, with food and drink available for purchase. Attendees can also purchase Oktoberfest beer steins for $20, which include two free beer tickets.
North Tahoe Arts will be on scene providing free pumpkin painting for children on a first come, first served basis. The 25th Annual Oktoberfest celebration follows on Oct. 5 and 6 at the Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina with an all-weekend extravaganza of beer, food and family fun. Oktoberfest events begin each day at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., with live music set to begin at 1 p.m.
Tickets to buy food and drink as well as children's activities such as the pumpkin patch and kids' inflatable activities are cash only. While there are ATMs on site, lines can be especially long, so attendees should plan ahead to bring cash to the event.
Camp Richardson's Oktoberfest will also have commemorative German-imported steins and T-shirts available for purchase for their 25th anniversary, as well as IPA beer-infused bratwurst and a brat boil. The weekend's festivities include craft booths, beer and wine gardens, a family-friendly pumpkin patch and pumpkin bowling, live music, costume contests and more.
Oktoberfest food includes staples such as a variety of brats and sausages (including a meat-free “Beyond Bratwurst” option for vegetarians), roasted quarter chicken, pretzels, apple strudel and more. The Gruber Family Band will be providing live polka music throughout the weekend, accompanied by Marcia Sarosik's dancers from Lake Tahoe Shining Stars on Sunday at 11 a.m.
On Sunday, those who haven't filled their stomachs with drink can partake in a bratwurst eating contest beginning at 3 p.m. Those who are interested in this popular event on the main stage must sign up by 1:30 p.m. According to Oktoberfest event coordinators, traditional men's lederhosen and women's dirndls are optional but encouraged. Family-friendly fun includes face painting, craft booths, the crowd-pleasing Peeps and Pups Costume Contest and a bounce house.
Those looking to compete but not stuff themselves in the food-eating category can find their chance to shine in a stein holding and yodeling contest at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, followed by costume contests at 4 p.m.
Free parking is available at the Eagles Nest Campground on paved sites, and guests are encouraged to make use of the free bicycle valet available in front of the Mountain Sports Center.