A taste of Bavaria in the Okanagan

It’s time to dig out the lederhosen and get ready to party at Oktoberfest in Penticton.

In their best Bavarian costume

In their best Bavarian costume

It’s time to dig out the lederhosen and get ready to party.

That is, if you enjoy a glass of beer, some food, music and a lot of fun, because that’s what organizers of the second annual Penticton Oktoberfest have on offer this weekend at the Trade and Convention Centre, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22.

“We are trying to make it as authentic as we can,” said Barb Schneiderat. This year, she said they’ve tried to make the hall look as much like as a Bavarian tent as they can and they’re hoping people will come out in costume to get into the fun of the event.

“People from the Heidelberg Club will certainly come out in their full Bavarian outfits; the women wear their dirndls, the men wear their lederhosen,” she said. “Some of the people that came last year wore the costumes and we are hoping more will do that. Just make it a real fun, fun time.”

Tickets are $25 each, said Barb Schneiderat, and include a beer mug that, at 15 oz., is twice the size of last year’s mug. It doesn’t come with any beer, but Schneiderat said filling it won’t be a problem, with a choice of two European beer makers as well as local craft brewery, The Cannery, on site.

“The German beer and the Czech beer that we have this year are $5 a fill,” said Schneiderat. The Cannery’s offering is $4 a fill and there is also wine available, from Prospect Winery, at $4 a glass.

Schneiderat said bringing in the European beers is all part of trying to make the experience as authentic as possible, especially inviting Anker Brewery, which comes straight from Nördlingen, Bavaria.

“We’re trying to do it the same as they would do it in Frankfurt,” said Schneiderat. “The only difference is Oktoberfest in Frankfurt is done in September. All the Oktoberfests in Germany are done in September, but we do ours in October.”

It wouldn’t be a party, though, without food and music.

“The entertainment will start at 5:30 p.m. and it will go through the evening,” said Schneiderat. “The Beer Barrels are back from last year and a new nine-piece band, Peter Juric and the Continentals.”

Food, which includes bratwurst, weiswurst, sauerkraut and German potato salad, will be served until 10 p.m.

The board for Oktoberfest, Schneiderat said, have decided proceeds from this year’s event are going to go to a single project.

“We will take the funds we raise through Oktoberfest and look for one project in Penticton that we can do that all the citizens can enjoy,” she said. “This year, we are going to be asking people to give us their ideas for where they would like to see the funds go.”

Tickets are available at the Wine Country Visitors’ Centre, at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office or online at valleyfirsttix.com. Tickets are selling fast, according to Schneiderat, but she expects there will also be some available at the door.

“We just about sold out last year. We had a 1,000 ticket cap and we sold 943 tickets,” she said, adding that there are 1,300 tickets available this year. “We’re hoping to better that and so far ticket sales are going well.”