Camp Richardson Oktoberfest at Lake Tahoe features family fun, food, beer and more
When: Oct. 6-7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina, 3004 Jameson Beach Road
Cost: Entry is free; food, drink and activity costs vary
Late September and early October is the season for Oktoberfest celebrations, and one of the best in the Tahoe Basin is coming this weekend.
Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina’s Oktoberfest returns for its 24th year Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7. And this year the festival boasts more of everything, from a bevy of Bavarian-inspired brews to family fun activities.
While festival goers can expect many of the same staples from previous years, this year’s festival does have some different features, including a new layout intended to ease the process of purchasing tickets.
Here’s what you need to know to have a Bavarian blast this weekend.
We’ve all been there before … sitting in standstill traffic on Emerald Bay Road. It’s a cocktail of chaos, confusion and stupidity that typically reaches its peak during the summer months. However, one good event is all it takes to turn this two-lane highway into a parking lot during off season.
If you must drive, free parking is available in Camp Richardson’s Eagles Nest campground on paved sites. As with any popular event, arriving earlier will work in your favor when it comes to parking, and it’s a great excuse to have your first beer at 10 a.m.
But rather than deal with the headaches of driving, we recommend riding your bike. A free bike valet will be available in front of the Mountain Sports Center, per Camp Rich. Even better, bikers who valet their bikes will receive an ice cream coupon for the resort’s ice cream parlor.
Let’s be honest: Oktoberfest, any Oktoberfest celebration, is all about the beer. Everything else is simply there to distract children and those loons who don’t like beer (we get it, Carol, you’re “gluten intolerant”).
For those of us who are sane and like beer, this event has you covered: Camp Richardson’s beer garden will be fully stocked with Oktoberfest and fall-inspired brews. Local breweries Alibi Ale Works and FiftyFifty Brewing will be represented. Alibi’s pilsner, a light and crisp brew, will be on tap, as will Truckee-based FiftyFifty’s Oktoberfest.
Other options include Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, a German based brewer; Sam Adams Octoberfest, which is easily the best beer made by Sam Adams; Deschutes Hopzeit; Saint Archer German Ale; Ninkasi Oktoberfest; and Drakes Hefeweizen.
For the non-beer drinkers (again, what is wrong with you?) Crispin Cider and three different wines will be available.
While Oktoberfest is all about the beer, this ain’t Beerfest (DAS BOOT). Nobody likes that guy with the ripped lederhosen slurring his words while spilling kraut all over the place. Drink responsibly.
It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without sausages. Vendors will be serving up German-inspired, IPA-infused brats and sausages with all the necessary fixings for you to choose (if you’re not putting sauerkraut on your sausage then you’re doing it wrong).
Looking for something other than sausage? You’re in luck. Other options include roasted quarter chicken and lager stew in a bread bowl.
Dessert options include strudel and iced chocolate brownies with cherry preserves (yes to all of the above).
Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson is for the whole family. Give your kids a break from whatever screen they’re mindlessly staring at and bring them along. The festival features a pumpkin patch, bouncy houses, face painting and all new inflatable games including basketball and football.
The Gruber Family Band will play live polka music both days. The band will be accompanied by Marcia Sarosik’s dancers from Lake Tahoe Shining Stars on Sunday.
Additionally, vendor row will feature a range of Tahoe inspired crafts and goods. Confirmed vendors include Tahoe Nevada Love, Gina’s Face Painting, Inspired Balloons, Tahoe Henna, Sierra Essentials, and RISE design apparel and hats.
There’s something for everyone.
Sometimes a little competition is needed to really get the juices flowing. Think you can yodel with the best of them? Here’s a chance to prove your skills.
Feats of strength and ability include beer stein holding, yodeling and costume contests — the last of which is open to dogs and their owners.
One of the most popular events is the bratwurst eating contest on Sunday. Contestants need to sign up by 1:30 p.m. at the pumpkin patch. The showdown takes place at 3 p.m. on the main stage, according to Camp Rich. Lederhosen are not required … but you don’t want to look like an idiot, do you? Come dressed for success.
Need to know
The two-day festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Entrance, like the parking, is free.
The festival is debuting a new layout with ticket booths placed in front of the entrance to make the purchase process easier. Tickets for food and beverage booths, pumpkin patch and kids’ inflatable activities must be purchased with cash at the ticket booths. While there are ATMs on site, the lines can get long. Really long. Like anger-inducing long. Bring cash and spare yourself the headache.
For additional information, including lodging, boat tours and more, visit http://www.camprichardson.com.