Gypsum's Oktoberfest on Saturday is dedicated to simple, authentic fun.
"The whole idea is to drink beer and dance ‹ simple," said Rosie Bürki, a Swiss immigrant and longtime Eagle valley resident who is helping with the event. She helped organize an Oktoberfest at the Eagle Fairgrounds in 1993 and remembers it as a successful good time. She anticipates Gypsum's will be comparable.
"Vail's Oktoberfest has a commercialized feel and it's nice to have something more traditional and down to earth," Bürki said. "Gypsum Oktoberfest will all be under one tent with music and it will all be about enjoying good food, beer and dancing."
Gypsum Oktoberfest is at Lundgren Theater Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this year. Admission is free. Beer is $5 a cup and food is $8 a plate, which includes a bratwurst, bun, sauerkraut and German potato salad. Glass beer stein mugs will also be available along with last years mugs, which will be sold at a discounted rate.
A 5K fun run/walk that starts at 10 a.m. Registration is $39. Like last year, the entry fee includes a T-shirt and a beer. Registration can be made at the Gypsum Recreation Center or at the event.
There will also be games and contests throughout the day, with prizes awarded for such categories as "best dressed" (in dirndls and lederhosen), stein holding, yodeling, beer drinking, alpenhorn and more.
"There won't be any kids activities," said Oktoberfest Coordinator Anna Englehart. "Though children are welcome, it is an adult event."
Eagle's Bonfire Brewing is providing its specially made Gyptoberfest beer again this year.
The Swiss Austrian Connection Band will provide music from noon to 6 p.m. The band includes Bürki and her husband and features several talented musicians from the area who have Bavarian roots.
"There's no set schedule for breaks in the music," Englehart said. "If people are into it and dancing, the band will play longer. We'll do games during lulls in the music."
Bürki said the band members have real European blood and bring a variety of traditional music styles to the stage.
"It'll be a real oompah-pah-pah band," she said. "There will be polkas and cha-chas and all that."
Providing food at Gypsum's event is O.W.'s Heritage Sausage company. The Gypsum business recently opened a storefront as Strecker's Market and Cafe on 925 Green Way. The business uses German sausage recipes that were passed down from the owner's grandfather. They don't make veal brats, however, so those will be special ordered from Continental Sausage in Denver. European pastries, strudels, pretzels and more will also be provided by Swiss-born valley resident Erika Ammann and the Alpenrose in Vail.