Celebrate October with Oaktoberfest

Participants at last year's Oaktoberfest adhered to the theme in German attire. Courtesy Photo.

The sixth annual Oaktoberfest, hosted by Firestone Walker Brewing Co., is being held at the Avila Beach Golf Resort this Saturday, Oct. 16, to raise money for Hospice of San Luis Obispo.

Oaktoberfest is a mimic celebration of Munich, Germany’s famous cultural festival, Oktoberfest. The event started in 1810 as a celebration for the King’s wedding and became so popular that the party took place again the following year and eventually became a tradition. In Germany, the event is held for a period of 16 days and is one of the world’s largest fairs.

Modeling the Germans’ annual festivity, Oaktoberfest is designed to provide people with the Bavarian experience, centering on the customary Bavarian attire, German food and most notably, the beer. Following tradition, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is supplying the beer and is aiming to live up to the festival’s customs.

“Firestone brews their own Oaktoberfest beer every year. We’re trying to make it (the most) authentic German Oktoberfest (as possible),” Firestone Walker Brewing Co. events coordinator Evan Dyer said.

Not only is Firestone Walker providing the beer, they are also partnering up with Hospice of San Luis Obispo, a volunteer-based facility dedicated to helping the community by providing free counseling and emotional support to anyone dealing with grievances. A portion of the proceeds will go to Hospice.

“Firestone wanted a signature event and partnered with Hospice. Since (Oaktoberfest) started, it has been a charity event,” said Katie Manley, the event coordinator for Avila Beach Golf Resort. “There is no set goal (to how much we can raise). We always try to raise as much as we can; it is based on ticket sales.”

The charity event will mimic Oktoberfest as close to the German original as possible, featuring various games and contests.

“We try to keep (Oaktoberfest) pretty traditional; we are definitely mocking the (Oktoberfest) festival,” Manley said. “We’re having the beer olympics, which includes events such as a keg toss, barrel roll and the stein race. There will also be a costume contest (for participants) who are best dressed in lederhosen or dirndl.”

Nevertheless, the festival will include some differences compared to the event held in the previous years.

“It used to be held in Paso Robles at River Oaks,” Dyer said. “We moved it because Paso is usually around 100 degrees this time of year. Also, Avila Beach Golf Resort is nicer weather, better scenery and near the beach.”

Not only has the location changed, but ticket prices have been reduced from $45 to $15.

“Last year, we included lunch in the ticket price,” Manley said. “This year, that will not be available. The ticket price covers admission into the event, free shuttle service, a half liter beer stein and your first beer.”

This event has already attracted the community, especially students at Cal Poly. For some it will be their first time attending the event, while others, like mechanical engineering senior Toni Vi, are excited to relive the festival.

“Last year was my first year going, and it was exciting to experience the celebration of a different culture,” Vi said. ”It was fun to see some of the games, especially the keg toss. I’m definitely going back (this year) to experience it again.”

Tickets are available online at www.oaktoberfest.com for $15 per person in advance or $20 per person on the day of the event. Attendees must be at least 21 to attend.

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