By OCinSite At-Large
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest delivers a genuine Deutschland-style celebration with alpine scenery and heritage that sincerely reflects the spirit of the original Munich Oktoberfest. There are two full service bars located inside the Convention Center and three different bier gartens (beer gardens) outside, which includes the Sports Garten, Wyatt’s Bier Garten, and Warsteiner Bier Garten. Also returning is the Craft Haus, which provides a variety of micro brews and craft beer, ideal for beer connoisseurs.
The German beer served at Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is only a segment of what makes it stand out as one of the most genuine Oktoberfest celebrations in America. The food is authentic as well as the bands. In fact, three different German bands will perform in a six-week span of an eight-weekend stretch that starts September 9 and ends October 28, 2017, bringing the quintessential music of Bavaria to Big Bear.
The bands performing at this year’s Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest includes Mats’s Infinity on September 16- 17 and September 22-23. Matt’s Infinity brings its signature live performance of true grit and a unique blend of traditional and modern German music. Goldeisen, a nine-piece band that hails from Bavaria, performs September 30 & October 1 and October 6-8. Goldeisen has gained a cult following in Southern Germany because of two Oktoberfest hits on the official Munich Oktoberfest’s “Best Oktoberfest Hits” compilation. The Aalbachtal Express, also from Southern Germany, returns to Big Bear for the third year in a row, takes the stage October 14-15 and October 21-22. This 12-piece band (the largest ever for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest) has grown a solid reputation throughout Europe for its authenticity and upbeat live shows. All three German bands play a unique blend of traditional German polkas and sing-alongs mixed with classic rock, country hits and dance-floor standards. The Express Band, Southern California’s premier German band performs the first weekend (September 9-10). The band is to be determined for the final date on October 28. Every band that performs at Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest creates the perfect vibe for a down-to- earth German celebration.
Fun competitions and contests at Oktoberfest include log sawing, stein carrying, shoot & yodel, a version of beer pong, and stein holding. Children’s fun and games include kiddy mug holding matches and Midway carnival-style games. Dance troupes perform customary dances, the bratwurst and knockwurst is from a German butcher in Los Angeles, and fresh apple strudel as well as pretzels are delivered weekly from a German bakery in Downey! Both original and cover bands that play live rock ‘n’ roll, blues and country on the outdoor Wyatt’s Stage. 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.
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest begins Saturday, September 9 and runs for eight consecutive weekends through Saturday, October 28, 2017. 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 9 offering free admission for all past and present military, fire fighters and law enforcement. The first three weekends (Sept. 9-10 to Sept. 23-24) general admission on Saturdays is $14.99 for adults, $10.99 for seniors (62+), and $8 for children 12 and under; Sunday admission prices are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and children 12 and under FREE. The next five weekends (Sept. 30 to Oct. 28) general admission on Saturdays is $19.99 for adults, $14.99 for seniors (62+), and $9.99 for children 12 and under; Sunday admission prices $9 for adults, $6 for seniors with children 12 and under are admitted free. For more details regarding tickets, Burgerermeister Party Packs, and general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com or call 909-585- 3000.
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