Prost! Oktoberfest in Grand Junction celebrates German culture downtown Saturday
WHERE: Downtown Grand Junction, Sixth & Colorado
WHEN: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., Oct. 5,
COST: Admission is free; bring some geld for bier und brats
Whether you’re wearing lederhosen or bike shorts, Grand Junction’s 32nd annual Oktoberfest offers something for everyone — beer, wine, traditional German food, live music, vendors, and even a electronic dance party in the evening. Admission is free, and the event will run 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
“We’re growing for sure, and Tour of the Moon is one of the reasons the event expanded,” Oktoberfest organizer Kristin Brethauer said. “We have so many people come with their bikes. They just came straight into Oktoberfest after the race” in 2012.
This year’s Oktoberfest even added an extra street block, which will be located at the intersection of Sixth Street and Colorado Avenue, right off Main Street.
“Last year was steady the whole day; it never slowed down,” Brethauer noted, estimating 2012 attendance to be between 10-15,000 people. That was up from 8-10,000 attendees in 2011.
“The official opening will be at noon with the Bookcliff Chorus singing the official GJ Oktoberfest Song: The Beer Barrel Polka,” GJ’s German American Club President Jim Witt said in an email.
Plus, music will be performed throughout the day on two stages. Alpine Echo, a traditional German “oompah” band will perform during the day. Then ElectroNacht — electronic dance music with an Oktoberfest theme — will perform an all-ages show at Sixth and Colorado Avenue from 6-10 p.m.
“There will be five DJs in the evening, go-go dancers and a light snow,” Brethauer said. “I’m so excited to see what they do.”
According to Witt, main food vendors include the Orchard Mesa Lions Club and German American Club as a combined booth. Beer to be served on tap includes Bud/Bud Light, Becks Oktoberfest, Warsteiner, Shock Top-Shocktober Wheat Beer, and Oktoberfest Bock.
“In addition, the sixth annual Wienerdog Races will also take place on this date in conjunction with celebration of our German culture and heritage,” Witt continued. “Registration begins at 11 a.m., south of the Oktoberfest intersection, with the Wienerdog Walk down Main at noon and the races at 1:30 p.m.”
This Saturday’s Oktoberfest event is also a platform to promote German heritage culture in Grand Junction.
“There are lots of folks of German origin here in town,” Witt said. “It is important to all of us, whatever our origin or culture, to maintain a sense of knowing about that and celebrating it.”
And Oktoberfest is a great way to honor German heritage locally because “everyone likes to party!” Witt added.
“The original Oktoberfest started as a royal wedding for the king of Bavaria, and the Bavarians decided to keep it up (year after year) since the wedding was so fun.”
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