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Celebrate the season with stein in hand

‘Volksmarch’ new to this year’s O-fest events

Published: 01:56PM October 3rd, 2013
Celebrate the season with stein in hand

Directorate of Family and Morale. Welfare and Recreation

Attendees enjoy beer, food and conversation during 2012’s Oktoberfest at JBLM. German dishes like schnitzel and bratwurst are served all day this year as perfect complements to the variety of German brews.

It’s time for lederhosen, schnitzel and bier, all of which can be found at the Oktoberfest celebration Saturday at the FMWR Fest Tent on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., all things German will be celebrated inside and outside the festival tent on Lewis Main. Events range from pony rides for children to a keg toss and barrel roll for adults. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend.

“It’s a great way to celebrate the heritage of Oktoberfest, and celebrate the change of seasons,” MWR Recreation Specialist Colin Brooks said. “It’s a fun, social event.”

Admission is free, with food and beverages available for purchase (must be 21 and older to purchase alcohol).

New to the annual celebration is a 5K/10K Volksmarch that will start at the Fest Tent and travel out to Lewis North. The Volksmarch is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Festivities start at 11 a.m. with free hay rides and boffers for kids.

Children can also ride ponies for $4.

“Years past it’s been more adult oriented,” Brooks said. “We evolved it more into a family-friendly event, at least until 4 p.m. Later in the evening is more for the adults.”

Afternoon and evening activities include a yodeling contest, a keg toss, a barrel roll and Oktoberfest trivia contest.

Musical entertainment will be on stage all day with performances from Bonnie Birch Bavarian Band, Still Kickin’, The Polka Tones, Karl and the Country Dutchmen and The Beatniks.

German dishes like schnitzel and bratwurst are served all day as perfect complements to the variety of German brews.

Volunteer service members will be operating the Better Opportunities for Service Members van from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. that evening.

FMWR reminds fest goers to drink responsibly, but for a safe ride home, call 253-208-9169, or Airmen Against Drunk Driving at 253-982-2233.

For those who are unable to attend Oktoberfest at JBLM, there is another opportunity to experience the Bavarian culture with a trip to Leavenworth, Wash., with the Northwest Adventure Center.

The NAC is coordinating two trips to the Bavarian-themed village for Oktoberfest in Leavenworth Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.

There are other opportunities for youths to celebrate the change in seasons on JBLM Oct. 26 with the Harvest Festival at Hillside Teen Zone at 4 p.m. and the McChord Harvest Fest at 3 p.m. The festivals will include games, crafts, treats and more.