Beaver Creek Oktoberfest brings Bavarian spirit to Avon this Labor Day weekend | VailDaily.com

Beaver Creek Oktoberfest brings Bavarian spirit to Avon this Labor Day weekend

Marty Golembiewski has lived in the Vail Valley since 1998.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaily.com

Given Vail’s connection to ski towns in Germany and Austria, it only makes sense that Oktoberfest is one of the biggest celebrations in the area each year. Plenty of beers are downed, brats are ’krauted and eaten, and pretzels are twisted and salted. Vail Valley Oktoberfests draw visitors from around the country each year, and those numbers have increased, mostly in the past 18 years. Throughout September, there will be three Oktoberfests on different weekends, starting with Beaver Creek, then Lionshead Village in Vail followed by Vail Village.

Marty Golembiewski participates in Stein holding contests nearly every year. He’s attended Oktoberfests at each location and started competing on a whim five years ago. He has yet to win the strongman title, but he usually places third or second.

He’s a competitive person by nature. Aside from stein holding, Golembiewski also participates in local mountain bike races, and informally, he loves skiing down the mountain with friends and “getting after it.”

“It’s not really about winning, it’s about being the best you can be,” he said. “If you win, great, but if not, competition’s just fun.”

In addition to plenty of beer, guests can eat bratwurst and pretzels at Beaver Creek’s Oktoberfest celebrations this weekend.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaily.com

Why isn’t Oktoberfest in October?

Traditionally, in Germany, Oktoberfest is held on the last weekend of September running into October. Sunday of the festival is always the first day of October. In the early days of Vail Oktoberfest, it was held in the middle of October, but as it gained popularity, organizers extended the festival into September.

Oktoberfest Traditions

In the early days, horse racing and agricultural shows were the main merrymaking events.

In Munich, where proper Oktoberfest is held, wearing traditional Bavarian attire — lederhosen for men and dirndls for women — is not only encouraged but expected.

At modern Munich Okotberfests, the festival always starts with the mayor heading to the oldest beer tent, Schottenhamel, and proclaiming, “O’zapft is,” which translates to “it is tapped.”

In Germany and in Vail, purchasing a commemorative stein for beers, both now and later, is common.

Hammerschlagen competitions are popular in Vail as well: players hit other players’ nails into a freshly-cut stump with the back end of a hammer, and the last nail standing wins.

Stein-holding competitions invite the strong-armed to hold a full-liter or half-liter glass filled with water or beer. The last person standing with their arm held out wins.

Get ready to celebrate the 20 anniversary of Oktoberfest in Beaver Creek with traditional Bavarian music, food and contests this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort

Schedule

Here’s the full schedule for Oktoberfest events in Beaver Creek:

Friday, Aug. 30

4 p.m. Biergarten and Root Biergarten open

4-5:45 p.m. Live Music

5:45 p.m. Pretzel Toss at the Main Stage

6:15-8 p.m. Live Music

8 p.m. Biergarten closes

Saturday, Aug. 31

11 a.m. Biergarten opens

11 a.m.-noon Live Music by Trachtenkapelle

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids’ Zone

12:30-1:30 p.m. Live Music by The Helmut Fricker Band

1:30-1:45 p.m. Bratwurst Eating Contest

1:45-2:45 p.m. Live Music by Trachtenkapelle

3-4 p.m. Live Music by The Helmut Fricker Band

3 p.m. Pretzel Toss at the Kids’ Zone

4-4:15 p.m. Stein Hoisting Competition

4:15-4:30 p.m. Best Dressed Contest

4:30-6 p.m. Space Oddity, The Ultimate David Bowie Experience

6 p.m. Biergarten closes

Sunday, Sept. 1

9 a.m. Oktoberfest Shuffle 10K, 5K and 1K family walk/run

11 a.m. Biergarten opens

11 a.m.-noon Live Music by Trachtenkapelle

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids’ Zone

12:30-1:30 p.m. Live Music by The Helmut Fricker Band

1:30-1:45 p.m. Bratwurst Eating Contest

1:45-2:45 p.m. Live Music by Trachtenkapelle

3-4 p.m. Live Music by The Helmut Fricker Band

3 p.m. Pretzel Toss at the Kids’ Zone

4-4:15 p.m. Stein Hoisting Competition

4:15-4:30 p.m. Best Dressed Contest

4:30-6 p.m. Fleetwood Mask

6 p.m. Biergarten closes