Oakland Park Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 3
For the past several years on the first Saturday of October, the City of Oakland Park has demonstrated you don’t have to travel to the Alps to enjoy an authentic Oktoberfest celebration. Oakland Park’s annual Oktoberfest event is not only the largest in Broward or Dade, but it has become one of the most popular in Florida, according to Siegi Constantine, Executive Director for Oakland Park Main Street. “Everything about our Oktoberfest is authentic – from the food and the beer to the live bands,” said Constantine who is chairing the event with Richard Vilissov and Eric Waters. “Each year we add some new twists and surprises to continually improve our event and make people want to come back for more.”
The Oakland Park Oktoberfest celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 3 with a procession of accordion players, flag dancers, the Northeast High School Marching Band, a horse-drawn carriage and a collection of classic Volkswagens from Oakland Park City Hall to the “Bavarian Village” set up in downtown Jaco Pastorius Park, 4000 North Dixie Highway (just north of NE 38th Street), where the official “keg tapping” will commence the celebration.
“Oakland Park bids you ‘Guten Tag’ (Good Day) and brings a little bit of German ‘Gemuetlichkeit’ to South Florida which translates to a day of good spirits, good times, laughter and goodwill,” Constantine said. “We are proud of what is taking place in downtown Oakland Park and encourage people to mark their calendars to attend this fun-filled and entertaining event.”
More than 5,000 people are expected to attend to German food and beer. Hans Huber, owner of Fort Lauderdale’s award-winning Ambry Restaurant, will operate the Bavarian-style “Biergarten” at the Oktoberfest offering a selection of popular German favorites such as bratwurst, knockwurst, spicy currywurst, chicken schnitzel, goulash soup, sauerkraut and German potato salad, as well as freshly baked pretzels, “Brotchen” and apple crumb strudel. In addition to soft drinks, a selection of German wines and authentic German-brewed Tucher Oktoberfest beers – including the seasonal “Weizenbier” — will be available for purchase by adults 21 and over.
Large tents will be erected to replicate the authentic atmosphere of a Bavarian village celebration, including a stage and a dance floor. Some of the famous Oktoberfest dances will be performed by the “Edelweiss Schuhplattlers” (children’s dance troupe) and the “Original Auerhahn Schuhplattler Dancers” (adults).
Vendors in the Alpine market will offer a variety of gift items, collectibles and more. A carnival featuring rides, games and refreshments will entertain kids and adults alike. Children can also enjoy face painting and story telling.
“Oktoberfest is truly meant to be a celebration for all ages and we want to encourage a lot of singing and dancing,” said Constantine. “We will also have some fun Oktoberfest games and contests such as our popular Central Bark ‘Dachshund Dash,’ keg races, and polka dance competition.”
Among the new features Constantine is excited about are a yodeling contest and a live auction of German antiques and collectibles conducted by Abercrombie Auctions International between bands. The musicians scheduled to fill the air with oompah and polka dance melodies at Oktoberfest until the 11 p.m. closing include “Euro Express,” the “Herman Schulz Band” and the “Swinging Bavarians.”
Constantine reminds Oktoberfest attendees that Sal’s Towing of Oakland Park has offered to provide free transportation home for anyone who may not be safe to drive and the nearby Days Inn Hotel at Oakland Park Boulevard/I-95 will offer discounted Oktoberfest rates for the weekend.
Constantine and her committee will be selling raffle tickets for two round-trip tickets to Munich or Dusseldorf aboard AIR BERLIN – one of Germany’s leading airlines – and a new scooter donated by Spank Cheesesteak Factory, as well as signing up sponsors, vendors and volunteers. Oktoberfest sponsors include the City of Oakland Park, presenting Sponsor Lipton Toyota/Scion, as well as Air Berlin, Central Bark Doggy Day Care
Citibank, Comcast, Days Inn, FPL, Graphic Banner, Holy Cross Hospital, S.MarkGraphics, Sal’s Towing and South Florida Blade/411. For sponsorships, vendor opportunities, raffle tickets and other information,
please call Constantine at There will be a $2 donation for adults while children 12 and under are admitted free. On-site parking is $5.
HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST
Oktoberfest is adapted after the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The wedding party was such a success it was celebrated again the following year in commemoration of the royal wedding. The wedding reception blossomed into a two-week open-air festival that was so well received it became an annual event. Each year additional exhibits were added until it became the major annual German fall festival celebrating harvest time and the arrival of the fall season.
Charitable Partner for Oktoberfest:
Oakland Park Main Street is proud to select NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL as this year’s recipient of a monetary contribution from Oktoberfest proceeds. With its donation to the school’s Jaco Pastorius scholarship and music fund, Main Street honors its long-standing and rewarding relationship with Northeast High School. The extensive collaboration between Main Street and the school’s Academy of Architecture and Design has led to the construction of three visionary models of a restored downtown area in Oakland Park, including the new downtown park dedicated to “The World’s Greatest Bass Player”, legendary jazz musician Jaco Pastorius. The unique partnership continues to provide exceptional learning opportunities for the students about the intricacies of community growth and redevelopment.
- Plans for Oakland Park’s Oktoberfest 2010 already underway
- Oktoberfest brings thousands to drink beer, have fun and listen to music
- Commercial Blvd. corridor study meeting in Oakland Park
- Upcoming events in Oakland Park
- Oakland Park to discuss land use, water in two separate meetings
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