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La Mesa Oktoberfest to mark 50th anniversary

La Mesa Oktoberfest is celebrating 50 years with its three-day Bavarian festival Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in the heart of The Village. This event includes three biergartens, kids’ activities, German and international foods, games, live music, dancing, and more.

McFarlane Promotions, Inc. CEO Laurel McFarlane said it is exciting to be celebrating the festival’s 50th anniversary.

“We have created some 50th anniversary merchandise this year. We never do merchandise, so we are excited about that,” she said. “We have hats, shirts, tote bags, Disney-like pins that people can wear.”

McFarlane said many people do not know that a few years ago they integrated the Palm Beer Hall, like a traditional beer hall in Munich, Germany.

“We have a big tent. You go to a hostess stand like restaurant seating. Waitresses and waiters come out and take your order. They bring your beer in big steins, your food, and we have oompah bands playing all day long, as well as polka dancing and games.”

McFarlane said they have large biergartens and the craft beer garden, which is not a traditional beer hall, but lots of fun for guests.

“We also brought in a 100-foot slide for all the families, kids and adults to slide down,” she said. “We also have our Dachshund Races which is really popular, with 50th anniversary medals for the winners. We also added the dachshund races for the dogs who think they are dachshunds so that every dog is included in the races.”

McFarland said on Fourth Avenue, they hold Glücklich Games, which are strongman games, so people can come watch people compete.

“There are a lot of fun things going on this year,” she said. “We have upgraded the bands this year, ending Sunday with a big ABBA band. There is something for everyone at this event, which was our goal when we started this in 2017 to make this a family, dog-friendly, all-ages event for everyone to enjoy.”

La Mesa Oktoberfest is Friday, Sept. 29, 4-10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 1, from noon to 8 p.m.


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