Beer, rides and Montrose

Honolulu Avenue met Bavaria on Saturday, as the 33rd annual Oktoberfest celebration drew thousands to the Montrose Shopping District to sip beer, sample bratwurst and enjoy live bands and carnival rides.

Attendees characterized Oktoberfest, hosted by the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, as an annual homecoming where locals are likely to run into neighbors and old friends.

"We call it our high school reunion. Everyone comes out," said volunteer Armine Akopyan, a 2005 graduate of Crescenta Valley High School. Dozens of students from Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta helped with the event, as did volunteers from numerous local businesses.

Carole Buss, a painter whose artwork graces the promotional material used by the chamber, was happy to staff an information booth plunked down in the middle of Honolulu Avenue. Three blocks of Honolulu were closed to traffic for the event.

"I love Montrose, and I would like to promote Montrose as being a special place," Buss said. "It is a special place.

"I like that they are individual shop owners," she said. "I hate malls."

Many young families were clustered around the Ferris wheel and carnival rides at one end of the fair.

Nolan Costin, 7, of La Crescenta, and his father were on the scene early, observing as other family members spun around inside a bucket of slime ride — similar to the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland.

Costin said he was looking forward to getting his face painted, and had a grown-up's-eye view of how long he would spend at the festival. "Probably two hours, move the car, then two hours more," Costin said.

In addition to people sporting lederhosen and Tyrolean hats, a few walked around in Halloween costumes to entertain children and promote a temporary Halloween store on Honolulu Avenue.

Tonya Moon was wearing yellow-and-black striped tights and golden wings.

"The kids love the bee," Moon said.

A stand-up comedian by night who takes odd jobs during the day, Moon said she enjoyed the Oktoberfest gig, though it was a little hot in costume.

"I just hope my eyebrows don't melt," she said.

Bill and Rita Even have been walking the short distance from their north Glendale home to the event for decades. Early Saturday, they were just taking in the scene. Later on, they planned to return, as Rita likes to listen to the music and play bingo.

"Oktoberfest brings people out," Bill Even said. "We need more things that bring people together."

On Sunday, Glendale police reported no trouble from the event.

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