Tradition celebrated

Whether you're into bingo, bratwurst or even the chicken dance, all tastes will be satisfied at this year's Oktoberfest.

Beginning at noon tomorrow (Saturday), and continuing until 11 p.m., the annual German festival is expected to host over 20,000 attendees converging onto the 2400-2500 blocks of Honolulu Avenue. For many, this will be their first time to the Montrose area as traditionally Oktoberfest celebrants come from all over the Southland.

“We've reached out to other areas and venues,” said Marian Jocz, executive director of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, the organization that is hosting the annual event. “We're encouraging everyone to come and check out Montrose Oktoberfest.”

Oktoberfest is the main fundraiser for the chamber. Contests, entertainment, games and rides and an array of German food all but guarantee that anyone who attends won't be disappointed.

The cost of hosting an event of this size is daunting; this year's price tag is estimated at around $100,000 said Jim Bates, one of the Oktoberfest's organizers. Much of the Oktoberfest funding comes from local sponsors.

Bates has been part of the Oktoberfest team for about 10 years and said that they begin planning for it almost immediately after that year's event.

“As rules and regulations change, we have to incorporate that,” he said. “We also try to [find ways] to be more efficient and effective.”

One of the attractions of Oktoberfest is the German beer that will be poured. Asked whether there were concerns about hosting an event that so prominently features the brew, Jocz replied, “Alcohol certainly changes the dynamics, but it is such an integral part of the celebration.” The chamber makes sure that plenty of security personnel are on hand as does the Glendale Police Department. So far, there haven't been many problems.

“Besides,” Jocz said, “some traditions shouldn't be tampered with.”

An overview of Saturday's activities include:

•?Main Stage — Variety show (at Ocean View and Honolulu)

1:00 p.m. Palpitating Panthers

1:30 p.m. Kids on stage

2:00 p.m. Revolution Dance Studio

2:30 p.m. Vonder Haar Center for the Performing Arts

3:00 p.m. USA Martial Arts

3:30 p.m. Coloring Contest & Best Dressed Dog Contest

3:45 p.m. Master & Miss Contest

4:00 p.m. Fred Villari's Live Action Martial Arts

5 to 10 p.m. German-American Brass Band and Fat Cat DJ Entertainment-German music

•?Variety Stage at Beer Garden (at Wickham Way)

2:30 p.m. Blake Marie Lindsey (Singer)

3:00 p.m. Kids on stage

3:30 p.m. Vonder Haar Center for the Performing Arts

4:00 p.m. USA Martial Arts

4:30 p.m. Revolution Dance Studio

5:00 p.m. The Title Wave/EWA

5:30 p.m. Blake Marie Lindsey (Singer)

6:00 p.m. D'Oberlanders

6:30 p.m. The Title Wave Band

7:00 p.m. D'Oberlanders

7:30 p.m. Stein holding contest (women and men)

8:00 p.m. Sausage eating contest (women and men)

8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. The Title Wave Band

•?Carnival games and rides start at noon

•?Bingo, located at Montrose Travel parking lot, from 2 to 10 p.m.

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