BRATS AND BREWS
Oktoberfests offer Bavarian food, music, and, of course, plenty of beer.
WRITTEN BY ANN LINDEMANN
PHOTO BY MATT PALMER, SQUAW VALLEY ALPINE MEADOWS
It seems one good party leads to another, and the Oktoberfest tradition is no exception. This popular festival’s origins date back to 1810, when Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese invited the entire population (40,000-plus) of Munich to help them celebrate their nuptials. Fun-loving Bavarians enjoyed the festival so much it became an annual event in not only Germany, but around the world.
Fortunately, there are plenty of pleasing local venues where Reno-Tahoe folks can celebrate this beloved Bavarian tradition. It’s time to dig out those lederhosen and get ready to nosh on tasty bratwurst, quaff a brew or two, and get your oom pa groove on!
North Lake fest
On Saturday, Sept. 23, noon – 6 p.m., The Village at Squaw Valley will play dress-up as it is transformed into a miniature Bavaria. Attendees will enjoy authentic German beer and food and Bavarian music, and $20 gets you a 0.5 liter traditional Squaw Valley stein and two beer tickets.
The rowdy Oktoberfest Games include keg-rolling races, a bratwurst toss, and stein-holding competition. In this community of athletes, the games are spirited and just as much fun to watch as to play.
Admission is free, and all proceeds from beer sales benefit the High Sierra Lacrosse Foundation.
For details, visit Squawalpine.com.
South Lake fest
The 23rd Oktoberfest at South Lake Tahoe’s Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina will be held from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oct. 7 – 8. Admission and parking are free at this popular two-day festival.
The quintessential beer garden features seven seasonal brews that range from Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest to Drake’s Hefe-weizen, as well as hard ciders. There’s also plenty of German food, including turkey legs, the requisite beer-infused bratwurst, and luscious desserts.
When festival-goers grow weary of eating and drinking, they can give the beer-stein-holding and yodeling contests a go. Or work off the calories with some polka dancing, compliments of the Gruber Family Band.
For details, visit Camprichardson.com
Carson Valley fest
The Sertoma Oktoberfest is slated for 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at Heritage Park in Gardnerville. Enjoy lively polka tunes from the Gruber Family Band, a complete German-style food menu, crafter booths, and children’s games.
Tahoe City fest
Fancy your Oktoberfest lakeside? The Tahoe City Oktoberfest is scheduled for noon – 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 on the lakefront grounds of Layton State Park/Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City. Organizers promise participants will be tempted by some of the region’s best microbrews and Bavarian food. The family-friendly event also includes live music, Bavarian-themed games, and local artisan booths. Admission is free.
For details, visit Visittahoecity.org/event/tahoe-city-oktoberfest.
Writer Ann Lindemann has been known to rock a mean polka in her day.