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October 4, 2012
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Beer, brats and dancing with Grand Junction's Oktoberfest

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -Dust off your lederhosen and bring an appetite. Grand Junction will host its 31st annual Oktoberfest Saturday, Oct. 6. There'll be beer, German foods, traditional music and costumes, plus kids' entertainment and lots of vendors. This event will be hosted by the German-American Club of Western Colorado from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with help from the Orchard Mesa Lions Club and the Elks Club. It will be located in the parking lots on Colorado between Sixth and Seventh streets, as in years past."The goal, as German-American Club of Western Colorado, is to promote the German language, the history, and the culture," club president Jim Witt said. "Oktoberfest is an integral part of life in Bavaria, Germany. The original Oktoberfest started as a royal wedding, and the Bavarians decided to keep it up (every year) since the wedding was so fun. The actually Oktoberfest (in Germany) is going on now."Witt said he expects 5,000 to 7,000 people at this year's local Oktoberfest, where everyone can enjoy dancing, beer and traditional treats like brats, bieroch (or cabbage burger) and strudel. Various nonalcoholic beverages will also be provided. Though admission to the event is free, food and beverages must be purchased. The Elks Club will be handling this year's beer concessions. There will also be a Hansel & Gretel Contest, so traditional Bavarian costumes are a must.Alpine Echo, a musical act which formed at Grand Junction's Oktoberfest 10 years ago, will play once again this year. A variety of other musical acts will perform, too, throughout the day.According to event coordinator Kristin Brethauer, Saturday's event will also host "weiner dog" races, where dachshunds (a breed of dog with an elongated body) will race for prizes. It will kick off at 2:30 p.m."It's a lot of fun," Brethauer said. "Last year we had 80 weiner dogs. It brings a great crowd and it's good for every age." Brethauer also noted that a marching band parade will kick off Oktoberfest from 10 a.m. to noon, and locals will be honored at the event for good community works.There's a large German-American contingent in GJ, Brethauer said, and Oct. 6 additionally happens to be National German Day."It just happened to fall on the same day, which is pretty neat," she said.

11 a.m. - Al & the Polka Dots - polkas & waltzes12 p.m. - Official Opening with Jim Witt & Brgermeister/Brgermeisterin, Joe and Vikki Pologar 12:15 p.m. - Ula Kirkman/Synthesized Accordion - polkas & waltzes1:30 p.m.- Hansel & Gretel Contest2 p.m. - Jim Jarolimek/Concertina - polkas & waltzes2:30 p.m. - Wiener Dog Race award announcements3 p.m. - The Lizers & Ted Vath - polkas & waltzes Sherrill Lizer-piano, Wayne Lizer-fiddle/guitar, Ted Vath-button box3:45 p.m.- Sam Marso/Concertina - polkas & waltzes4:15 p.m.- Polka Jam4:45 p.m.- Break5-9 p.m. - Free Street Dance with music by Alpine Echo; additional music by Hans Rieger, Zither, and Karla Zangerle, singer/yodeler; Events: nail pounding, beer mug holding, alphorn blowing & yodeling contests

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 4, 2012 05:15PM Published Oct 4, 2012 04:42PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.