Why is Oktoberfest not held in October? It’s a frequent question with an interesting answer.
The first Oktoberfest was a celebration of the marriage of the Bavarian King Ludwig I in Munich, Germany, in 1810. The “volksfest” has become the world’s most celebrated folk festival.
Fountain Hills celebrated its first Oktoberfest in 1998. Christine and Jack Colley founded the German Club of Fountain Hills, and Oktoberfest was their first project. Fifty people attended that first year, and now in its fourteenth year, the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce expects up to 5,000 guests. This event is the only authentic German Oktoberfest in Arizona.
Oktoberfest at the Fountain is a true Bavarian-style family celebration with traditional Bavarian food, music, dancing, contests, and more. It also includes 100-percent authentic German beer and wine.
Brothers Jay and Kip Schlum, the Masters of Ceremonies, will get attendees on their feet for beer stein holding competitions, Alphorn blowing contests, best-dressed contests, and some polka dancing to get people moving on the dance floor.
Attendees who wear lederhosen or dirndls will receive a free souvenir pin and be eligible for the Best Dressed contest.
To round out the entertainment, the German band Die Echten Wldbuam will fly in to play all the popular Oktoberfest Volksmusik along with contemporary tunes.
Scott Sommer, the Oktoberfest Beermeister, will ensure you have a great experience at the large beer tent. Seven Bavarian beers will be available to wash down all the traditional German food: pretzels, strudel, schnitzel, sauerkraut, bratwurst, and more.
Bring the kids along to this family event. There are activities just for them in the Kinderplatzl.
Be sure to pick up a souvenir program in this week’s The Times of Fountain Hills newspaper or at the event. You’ll find fun information about Oktoberfest, learn the origin of the pretzel, get authentic recipes for homemade sauerkraut and chocolate sauerkraut cake, and other great tidbits.
September 23 and 24 from 5:00-10:00 PM
Friday, September 23 at 5:15 pm
This opening procession is a celebration of German heritage and the moment for the “O’Zapft”, the tapping of the keg. The procession will be led by the German Honorary Consul Carolin Gey, and the American Karneval Society’s Princess and Prince. Mayor Ginny Dickey will tap the keg to kick off the weekend of fun.
Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce
Tickets can be purchased online at FHchamber.com or at the gate
For more information, visit fountainhillschamber.com/oktoberfest/.