Oktoberfest: It’s not just for Bavarians anymore
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Carol Frazier Band12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Helmut Fricker and Bavarian Dancers1:45 – 3 p.m. Arlberg Musig3 – 3:30 p.m. Helmut Fricker and Bavarian Dancers4 – 5:30 p.m. Southside Johnny and the Asbury JukesCooking demonstrations, Saturday only11:30 a.m. David Sanchez from Allie’s Cabin1:30 p.m. Pasqual Coudouy from Park Hyatt3:30 p.m. Robby Kuster from Swiss StubliBeer, brats and Bavarian dress – who could ask for more at an Oktoberfest celebration?Tony O’Rourke did five years ago. He’s now responsible for a two-day festival at Beaver Creek that includes live music, kids’ activities, a wide range of food and drink and a costume contest.O’Rourke, Executive Director for Beaver Creek Resort Company, came up with the multi-day festival idea when he was looking to showcase Beaver Creek’s family-friendly image.”I thought it would be a prefect complement in our alpine setting with a signature Bavarian scene,” he said. “The first one was three days, about one day too long from a beer-consumption viewpoint.”The epicenter of the true Oktoberfest is Munich, Germany. An end-of-season festival, it signifies the beginning of fall.”It’s a celebration of the fall harvest,” he said. “We treat it the same way here. There’s still a couple more weeks to do summer activities, then it really becomes fall.”A family affairAnd though there will be a beer garden set up on the ice rink, O’Rourke says it’s not simply a beerfest.”The focus is family friendly. If the kids are happy, the mama’s happy,” he said.Children’s activities include interactive children’s theater and a kids’ stage, access to the Kids’ Indoor Discovery Museum and the outdoor Kids’ Fun Zone, featuring a coloring contest with three winners. Kids as well as adults can enter the Bavarian costume contest. Prizes include $100 gift certificate for Le Petit Skier (kids) and $100 gift certificate toward dinner in Beaver Creek (adults) both days.Sausages for the massesIn addition to the myriad food booths, there will be a Bon Appetit test kitchen featuring demonstrations on Saturday. Executive Chef David Sanchez from Allie’s Cabin will begin the festivities with a sausage-making demonstration at 11:30 a.m.”The Resort Company asked me to do something Oktoberfestish,” he said. “I’m not German, so I thought I’d go with something within my own area of expertise.”Though Sanchez never said it, he is indeed a sausage genius. And as bratwursts are part of the sacred BB&B of Oktoberfest, it’s a perfect fit. He will be making them from scratch using pork, veal, beef and perhaps even a bit of poultry. He will be doing the full demo, including piping them into casings. And according to Sanchez, it’s something anyone can do in their own kitchen.”That’s the fun thing about sausages – you can make your own and be unlimited,” he said. “A fun thing to do is name your own sausage. It’s another creative medium in food.”In Europe, sausages were originally another way of preserving meat, he said, as most were smoked or cured. Sanchez taught a charcuterie class at Johnson and Wales, a culinary school. Taking its name from the French term for butchery, he’d take his students all the way from live animals to steaks on the table, and what to do with the scraps. Sausages are merely one of many options.Other test kitchen demos will be hosted by Pasqual Coudouy of the Park Hyatt at 1:30 p.m. and Robby Kuster of the Swiss Stubli at 3:30 p.m. These, too, are free.Musical chairsOne of the first entertainment acts in the early years was an Elvis impersonator. Last year saw Loverboy; this year brings another headliner in Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The poppy, rockin’ blues performer makes his Vail Valley debut at the festival today, and continues Sunday. (See story page C2.)”This is the original band Bruce Springsteen was associated with,” said O’Rourke. “They’re very popular. We look forward to having them perform Saturday and Sunday.”Also slated to play is the Carol Frazier Band, Helmut Fricker and the Bavarian Dancers and Arlberg Musig. The line-up ensures a cross-cultural experience for the eyes and ears.The Carol Frazier Band is a fusion of jazz, rock and funk. Though her parents have encouraged her to go for a high-paying career, music is her first love. She’ll be beginning the festivities both today and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.She’s followed by Vail’s own Helmut Fricker, master of the accordion, and a group of costumed Bavarian dancers at 12:45 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Arlberg Musig is visiting from Lech, Austria, and will be giving listeners a dose of traditional Austrian folk music at 1:45 p.m.Parking is free in the Village Hall Parking Structure. For more information on the event contact the Beaver Creek Information Center at 845-9090.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.