This year’s Oktoberfest season won’t be as dry in Southern California as it was last year.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen many fall beer celebrations canceled in 2020, even in the city of Munich in southern Germany, home to the world’s biggest Oktoberfest.
Munich is looking forward to 2021, as are several events in Southern California, including those at the Fairplex in Pomona and the Alpine Village in Torrance.
But the Oktoberfest continues in several cities.
“I think many communities look forward to the Oktoberfest season as a way to continue on the path to normalcy, however you define it,” said Steve Hauser, president and CEO of Paulaner USA.
Based in New York, Paulaner USA imports beer from Munich. According to the company, the Paulaner Oktoberfest is the # 1 festival beer in this city.
Some of Southern California’s biggest Oktoberfests recognize their plans could change if the pandemic worsens. Some list their COVID-19 policies on their websites, but others do not mention the pandemic. At the time of going to press, none mentioned face coverings or checking participants’ immunization status.
Celebrations in the United States carry over to American traditions, but most like to have at least a taste of Germany, Hauser said in a telephone interview.
“People will say that when an event doesn’t feature genuine Oktoberfest beer, it doesn’t feel like it’s such an authentic event. “
Munich’s Oktoberfest is similar to a state fair in the United States, taking place in giant, ornately decorated tents, according to Hauser. It is set up by the city.
Oktoberfests in the United States tend to be more like street festivals, he said.
“These are organized by a small local community association or by for-profit companies. “
To avoid the supply chain problems created by the pandemic, Paulaner USA has moved its production schedule forward by a few weeks, Hauser said, taking orders in March to receive shipments in June.
He said there would be no supply problem in Southern California.
“You have all the beer you need for all the events and retail activations that we have. “
Here are some of the celebrations taking place in Southern California. As with everything these days, plans and rules can change quickly due to the coronavirus, so check directly with the event for the most recent information.
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Or: Big Bear Lake Convention Center, 42900 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake
When: 11 Sep-Nov 7
Details: Oktoberfest has been a tradition in the San Bernardino Mountains since 1970. The festivities take place Friday through Sunday in two indoor bars and several beer gardens.
Food and entertainment are a mix of German and American traditions. The menu includes bratwurst, knockwurst, apple strudel and pretzels, as well as burgers and Mexican food. Bavarian-style oompah bands will perform indoors with country cover bands on the patio.
The festival promises a wide variety of beers and wines, but had not released details at press time.
Precautions against covid19: Capacity will be limited and the festival will not bring in polka bands from Germany.
Tickets: Prices vary by day and month, ranging from $ 15 to $ 28 for general adult admission. Reserved seats, indoors or outdoors, vary from $ 35 to $ 58 and include cocktail service. Family packages cost $ 48 and include admission for two adults and two children 12 and under, as well as two children’s meals.
Information: 909-585-3000, bigbearevents.com/oktoberfest
King Ludwig’s Oktoberfest
When: 17-19 Sep
Or: Noble Creek Park, 650 W. Oak Valley Parkway, Beaumont
Details: The festivities include marching bands, contests and sausage dog races. Anheuser-Busch is a sponsor, so you should know about libations.
Tickets: Free entry, $ 5 parking.
Lake Arrowhead Oktoberfest
When: Sep 18-Oct 30
Or: Village of Lake Arrowhead, National Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead
Details: The festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays outdoors at Lake Arrowhead Village, a lakeside shopping center with an Alpine theme.
Entertainment includes German groups, dancing and children’s games.
Beers include Franziskaner, Spaten, and Stella Artois. The food includes bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, and German potatoes.
Precautions against covid19: The event announced on its website that it would follow any mandates imposed by local or state authorities but not impose its own.
Tickets: Admission is free, but drinking requires the purchase of a starter package for $ 22. It includes a commemorative mug and a beer or wine ticket. After that, drinks are $ 8 each, according to the event’s website.
Old World Village Oktoberfest
When: 19 Sep-Oct 31
Or: Old World Village, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach
Details: The venue, which includes a 10,000 square foot beer garden as well as a German restaurant and deli, will celebrate Oktoberfest Wednesday through Sunday with imported beers and German bands. Weeknights are suitable for families, but minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Weekends are reserved for adults 21 and over.
Precautions against covid19: Guests are kindly requested to download their tickets in advance so that the venue can be staffed depending on the number of people.
Tickets: Wednesdays and Thursdays are free. Admission is $ 10 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Information: 714-895-8020, oldworld.ws
Phoenix Club in Anaheim
When: October 1-24
Or: 1340 S. Sanderson Ave, Anaheim
Hours: 6 pm to midnight on Friday and 5 pm to midnight on Saturday, both days for people 21 and over; families are welcome from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Details: The Phoenix Club was founded in 1961 by German expatriates to celebrate their culture. This year’s Oktoberest will be his last in Anaheim, according to a Facebook post. The building he had occupied since 1992 has been sold, and he plans to move to another city in 2022.
This year’s celebration will take place in the club’s beer garden and under a large tent. Entertainment will include Express Band and DJ Musikmeister, as well as beer and stein drinking contests.
Precautions against covid19: The event will be held under an outdoor canopy and the organizers will follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tickets: $ 15 for general admission; $ 25 for admission and a $ 12 food voucher; $ 5 for 13-16 year olds on Sunday. The ticket office will be online to control attendance as a precautionary measure in the event of a pandemic.
Information: 714-563-4166, thephoenixclub.com
When: October 2
Or: 2200-2400 blocks, Honolulu Ave., Montrose
Details: The festivities include bands and covers, games, rides and family entertainment.
Tickets: Free entry.
When: October 2
Or: Sylvan Park, 601 University Street, Redlands
Details: The festivities include German food, yodeling and other competitions.
Tickets: Information not available at the time of publication.
Long Beach Oktoberfest
When: October 22-31
Or: Scottish Rite Culture and Event Center, 855 Elm Ave., Long Beach
Details: This inaugural event will take place in an 8,000 square foot tent over two weekends. Fridays and Saturdays are ages 21 and over, but Sundays are suitable for families.
It will present animations by Festmeister Hans und Die Sauerkrauts. Beers will include Paulaner and Hofbrau. Foods include bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and soft pretzels.
Tickets: General admission is $ 20. VIP admission is $ 125 and includes parking, stage seating, food, beer, wine, dedicated servers, and a souvenir mug.