Vail’s Oktoberfest: double the beer, double the fun
Oktoberfest has always been a boon to Vail Village and a bust for Lionshead, but this year organizers of Vail’s final major event of the season are doing something about it.”Over the past six years we’ve tried every combo of having the event split between Vail and Lionshead,” Ian Anderson of the VVCTB says, “and Lionshead has always been less popular than the village. We’re hoping that by having two great Oktoberfest weekends (one in Lionshead Sept. 13-15 and the other in Vail Village Sept. 21-22) that we can fully showcase both our pedestrian villages.”And hopefully neither of the weekends will feature four inches of snowfall, which hit the event last year.”This is really our end-of-summer party and, of course, any September event there is always a risk of variable weather conditions, so this year we’re hoping the weather will be beautiful for both Oktoberfest celebrations.”In addition to double dates, the two weekends offer more space for the thousands who have shown up from local towns and Front Range cities over the last seven years, and will boast more biers, brats and oom-pah-pah than ever.The festivities will celebrate Vail’s Bavarian heritage with plenty of authentic beer from Hacker-Pschorr, brats and real Bavarian cuisine from Vail’s best German restaurants, genuine oom-pah-pah music by greats like Helmut Fricker, games and live entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.The annual German celebration kicks off with the official Keg Tapping and Opening Ceremony in Lionshead Village, beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. Enjoy authentic German beer and cuisine while listening to traditional Bavarian music by Fricker and band, along with otherroving entertainers throughout the evening.On Saturday and Sunday of both weekends, activities will run from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Returning this year is the Funland Area, on the north end of the gondola lawn in Lionshead Sept. 14-15, and in front of theGolden Bear in Vail Village Sept. 21-22. Join in the fun by testing your skills in the egg toss, football toss, Whiffle Ball homerun derby, keg bowling, or a heated game of red light/green light. In addition, a balloon artist, face painter and a juggler will be roaming the streets each day.The wide variety of live entertainment begins daily at noon. Scheduled performances throughout Oktoberfest include Fricker, the yodeling talents of the Austrian-Swiss Connection, Art Walunas, the Volkstanzgruppe German Dance Group and a Living History Display presented bythe 10th Mountain Division.Call 476-1000 for more information.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.