[heading] by JENNIFER FRAKES [/heading]

On Sunday, September 23, the city of Encinitas will host the 17th Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest, a celebration where people can experience authentic German food, drink and traditions. The event will extend along six blocks at El Camino Real and Mountain Vista and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to Thora Guthrie, Director of Marketing & Development for the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, the event typically attracts crowds of 30,000-50,000 local residents and visitors. “Admission to the event is free, and there are activities for the whole family,” stated Guthrie.

Guests at the Encinitas Oktoberfest should bring their appetites as the event will feature generous servings of traditional German food provided by Tip Top Meats and beer provided by sponsor Stone Brewing Company. “There will be an enormous eating and drinking tent for the entire family. The tent will have a view of the stage where live entertainment will take place, as well as a special appreciation presentation to Council Member James Bond,” said Guthrie.

The live entertainment will feature authentic Bavarian music and dancing, and a ceremonial parade is sure to be enjoyed by guests of all ages. “It is a traditional and fun parade with flags, the German Oompah Band and a whole lot of oompah-pah,” related Guthrie. In addition, more than 200 vendor booths will be set up, with many displaying unique arts and crafts from local artisans. There will also be a family fun zone with children’s games and family-oriented activities.

Encinitas is a fitting location for an Oktoberfest celebration given the history of the region. “Encinitas’ German roots go back to the northeastern colony of Olivenhain, founded in 1884 by German farmers. [The event] brings together the community and celebrates that heritage,” explained Guthrie. The Encinitas Oktoberfest was first established in the 1990s and coincides with the celebrations held in Germany.

The event is made possible by the volunteer organizing committee, the city of Encinitas, the Encinitas Fire Department, the Encinitas Sheriff and many sponsors, including Stone Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and IED Solar.

For more information about the Encinitas Oktoberfest, please visit www.encinitasoktoberfest.com.