Party at Penticton Oktoberfest

Lederhosen aren’t required to attend Penticton’s Oktoberfest, but if you’ve got a set, this is the place.

Ken Oszinski  of the Beerbarrels gets down with his accordion

Ken Oszinski of the Beerbarrels gets down with his accordion

Lederhosen aren’t required to attend Penticton’s Oktoberfest, but if you’ve got a set, this is the place.

There are just a few weeks left until the community celebrates its fourth annual Oktoberfest, bringing the best of the Bavarian tradition to the city.

Oct. 19 is when it all happens this year, and once again at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. But if you haven’t got your ticket yet, it’s time to hurry.

Organizer Barb Schneiderat said the Oktoberfest Society has capped ticket sales at 750 this year to make a more compact, lively event.

All the familiar fun will be back: live music, authentic German food and, of course, beer.

The ticket price of $25 buys you a beer stein. Or, if your preference is wine, you will receive a wine bowl. Inside, you’ve got a wide choice of European brews to fill your stein, along with a selection of local craft offerings. Wine aficionados can choose from a selection of wines from Perseus Winery.

On offer this year are light and dark Bavarian wheat beers from Erdinger, along with an alcohol-free version, which co-organizer Bill Kolter hopes will appeal to lighter drinkers who still want to take part in the fun event.

“It’s about having a great night,” said Kolter.

There is also a pair of Austrian beers from Steigel available, including a grapefruit lager for those searching for a unique taste. Topping it all off is a selection of lagers and ales from Penticton’s own Cannery Brewing Company.

The food, too, is authentic, with sauerkraut, bratwurst, weisswurst and German potato salad.

“The food is going to be as close as you can get, unless you went to Germany,” said Schneiderat, adding that they try to keep the whole experience as close as they can to the traditional celebrations, which began in 1810 to celebrate a royal wedding.

And what would Oktoberfest be without music?

“The Beerbarrels are back, they did a great job last year” said Kolter.

“And we also have a local band, Uncorked. They’re a fun, active band.”

Entertainment starts at 5:30 with the Beerbarrels, a three-piece oom-pah-pah dance band, who will be rolling out the traditional tunes and a polka or two. Later in the evening, Uncorked will take over.

“We find the older folk go home earlier. Uncorked will keep the party going for the younger people,” said Kolter.

Best of all, you can get a taste of Oktoberfest on Oct. 12, when the society brings a preview event to Cherry Lane Shopping Centre from 2 to 4 p.m.

While the Oktoberfest organizers want the partiers to have a good time, they also want to be sure everyone gets home safe.

At the end of the evening there will be shuttles to help everyone get home safe, and Oktoberfest is also participating in the safe ride home program, which covers the first $3 of a taxi fare.