Lift 'em high

Attendees line up for the beer stein holding contest during the 2017 Oktoberfest in Peoria.

Just as in old Bavaria, the traditional tapping of the keg kicks off the 13th annual Old World Oktoberfest and its opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Oct. 5 at Centennial Plaza Park in Peoria, 9875 N. 85th Ave. The event is open 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5, and continues from 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 6.

Parking is in the parking garage on 85th Avenue and the parking garage east of City Hall on Cinnabar Avenue west of 83rd Avenue.

This year also marks the 208th anniversary of the original Oktoberfest in Munich, first organized as a “Volksfest” in celebration of Bavarian Ludwig I’s marriage in 1810, and continuing to this day as a popular annual tradition.

Old World Oktoberfest is hosted by the Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures Inc. (www.ac4gc.org) in partnership with the city of Peoria. The AC4GC mission is to serve as a social outlet for the large and growing local Germanic community, raise funds to build a Germanic Cultural Center, and support German language education and cultural initiatives in the Valley.

The traditional Oktoberfest menu will feature German favorites, including bratwursts, frankfurters, sauerkraut, apple strudel, homemade potato pancakes, hand-rolled pretzels and other specialties. Oktoberfest features several varieties of imported German beer, provided by Warsteiner, including the traditional Oktoberfest Bier, as well as pilsner, Dunkel (dark), and Koenig Ludwig’s award-winning Hefeweizen (“Most Refreshing Beer” Award at Great Arizona Beer Festival 2010).

The authenticity of the event is enhanced by the musical entertainment, flown in from Germany especially for the occasion: Die Echten Waldbuam, who will lead the crowd in traditional Oktoberfest sing-a-longs and polka dances throughout the day and into the evening. Authenticity is important to the Old World Oktoberfest — right down to details such as the long tables papered in Bavarian blue and white, where attendees can chat with neighbors and make new friends while singing along with old-time drinking songs.

Song and dance

Die Echten Waldbuam will lead the crowd in traditional Oktoberfest sing-a-longs and polka dances.

The family-friendly event also includes a free Kinder Village with inflatables, which is free for children to enjoy during the event hours. Attendees can compete for fun and prizes in a variety of contests, including a polka dance contest, “Best Dressed” of Oktoberfest, Beer Stein Holding Contest, and Alphorn Blowing for children and adults. Contests are free to enter.

“The Old World Oktoberfest is appreciative of the partnership with the city of Peoria and German-based corporation Warsteiner for their continued sponsorship of this cultural event in the Valley,” event chairman Christine Colley said.

Admission is $5 for adults 21 and older. For more information, visit www.peoriaoktoberfest.com or call 480-947-7490.

About Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures

The Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a place for people of Germanic background to share their traditions, history, contributions, culture and celebrations with their fellow Americans.