A full day of continuous family entertainment is on tap, so to speak, when the local celebration of Bavaria’s world-famous Oktoberfest returns to Cambria on Saturday, Oct. 5, just one day before it ends at its home base in Munich.
Having lived in Germany for several years, this observer can strongly recommend that residents looking to experience the culture and fun of Munich’s annual fair visit Cambria’s version from 11:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.
And arrive early for the best seats near the stage.
Like its German cousin, this Oktoberfest features authentic Bavarian music, food, and specialty beers. If you own a stein, bring it along for use and possibly win a prize in a judged contest. Or purchase a souvenir mug on site.
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Mudskippers Band headlines the all-day musical program. For the younger set, the Family Partnership Charter School of Morro Bay, Singing Hands Children’s Choir of Paso Robles, and Motion Academy of Dance of Atascadero will perform.
More adventurous celebrants can participate in a chicken dance at 12:30 p.m. and contests for men’s ugly legs at 1:30, and ladies’ lovely legs at 2:30.
Oktoberfest is not about dieting. Renee Linn of Linn’s Restaurant fame will personally prepare a variety of food selections, including “my grandmother’s German potato salad and sauerkraut with pork spare ribs.” Peek into the kitchen and watch her grill fresh potato pancakes with applesauce.
Aaron Wharton, owner of Cambria Beer Co., promises a unique pairing of German-style beers brewed specially for the event. One will be a dark Dunkelweizen made from wheat and native to Bavaria. The other will be an Altbier, made from barley and associated with the area around Dusseldorf in the Rhineland.
For those with a short memory, Oktoberfest originated Oct. 12, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of the future King Ludwig I of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Thuringia, a small duchy in central Germany. She was on the short list to marry Napoleon but was passed over.
Unlike modern politicians, Ludwig did not have the benefit of public opinion polls. Riots occurred when he decreed a tax on beer in 1844, and four years later he called it quits in favor of his son. His grandson, King Ludwig II, had a relationship with composer Richard Wagner, allegedly was insane, and died under suspicious circumstances.
In Cambria, American Legion Post No. 432, Santa Rosa Catholic Church, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church jointly sponsor the annual event that raises funds for various local charitable causes, including Meals on Wheels for senior citizens and scholarships for high school graduates. Admission is $10. It’s OK to sprechen Deutsch, but it is not required.