Glendale residents don’t have to book a flight to Germany to experience Oktoberfest — in fact, they don’t have to go any farther than downtown Montrose.
Attendees of the local Oktoberfest, slated for noon to 10 p.m. next Saturday, will have the opportunity to sip and snack in a tented beer garden in the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue.
It’s a new feature for the 41-year-old event meant to mimic the traditional Bavarian set-up, where German food, beer and live music are all accessible under one tent, according to Diane Pirkl of the Montrose-Verdugo Chamber of Commerce, which organized the event.
“It’s the best of both worlds” — a taste of Germany in a local setting — said Mary Dawson, a member of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., which will have a booth at Oktoberfest.
At least 20 beers, including an offering from Munich-based Spaten, will be available to wash down locally made Bavarian pretzels from Thee Elbow Room and bratwurst from Schreiner’s Fine Sausages.
There will also be a variety of events for all ages, including carnival-style games and rides in the 2400 block of Honolulu, in addition to several contests in the 2300 block.
“The vibe is excellent because it’s a family event,” Dawson said.
This year, facial-hair sporters can enter the event’s inaugural Beard & Mustache Contest set for 2:30 p.m.
Without revealing specific judging parameters, Pirkl said contestants will be appraised by experienced local barbers, including Lynn Thatcher of Montrose Barber Shop.
There will also be the crowning of Mr. and Ms Oktoberfest at 3:30 p.m., as well as a kids version at 1 p.m.
Pooches will also have an opportunity to win big at the Best Dressed Bavarian Dog Contest, slated for 2 p.m.
According to Pirkl, a big draw will be an ’80s cover band Past Action Heroes, which will perform at 8 p.m.
“Everything’s all jeans — it’s a casual, fun, festival day,” Pirkl said.
That is, except for those who opt to wear a dirndl or lederhosen – traditional German clothing for women and men, respectively.
Dawson said she plans to wear a classic German dress. Her husband, Dale, is also expected to be in traditional attire.
Organizers are expecting up to 20,000 attendees, although no figures have been locked down, according to Victoria de Salla Malone, the chamber’s executive director.
Originally held in an area of Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park formerly known as Hindenburg Park, the event was moved to downtown Montrose and has grown from two to three blocks along Honolulu. It now draws people from all over Los Angeles, de Salla Malone said.
Because it’s a chamber-sponsored event, the goal is to promote the area and its businesses, in addition to serving up a day of fun, she said.
“It’s such a charming and unique area with really great shops,” de Salla said. “[This] is to spotlight who we are to people who may not have been to Montrose and who may not know what we have to offer.”
Admission to the event is free, but access to the tent requires a ticket.