September means Oktoberfest time at Tahoe

Adam Jensen
Nick Saadi drinks from his beer stein at a past Tahoe City Oktoberfest.
File photo |

Oktoberfest celebrations at Lake Tahoe

Oktoberfest at Himmel Haus

When: Sept. 20-21, Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 4-6

Where: Himmel Haus, 3819 Saddle Road, South Lake Tahoe

What: Weekend one features free music from Bayern Maiden; weekend two features Grammy-nominated polka from Johnny Koenig and a bratwurst-eating competition; weekend three includes a pig roast, DJs and a “Bier Fest” competition.


Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra SeptOberfest

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26

Where: MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, 55 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline

What: German buffet, beer garden, wine tasting, music, dancing, auctions, prizes and stein-holding contests

Tickets: $35

Info: 530-318-9197

Oktoberfest at Squaw Valley

When: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28

Where: The Village at Squaw Valley, 1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley

What: Live music including Joe Smiell and his 20-piece Bavarian band, German beer, stein-holding and keg-rolling competitions, bratwurst toss


Tahoe City Oktoberfest

When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5

Where: Cobblestone Center, 475 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

What: Live music, dancing, seasonal beers, barbecue and kids activities


Camp Richardson Oktoberfest

When: Oct. 5-6

Where: Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina, 1900 Jameson Beach Road, South Lake Tahoe

What: German food and desserts, craft booths, beer and wine garden, live music with the Gruber Family Band, pumpkin patch, costume contests and kids activities.


The 180th Munich Oktoberfest begins in Germany Saturday and continues through Oct. 6.

While Lake Tahoe can’t match the scale of the German city’s massive party, Oktoberfest festivities around the lake will do plenty to celebrate delicious German food and beer during the same 16-day period as the Munich festival.

Oktoberfest events start this week at the South Shore with celebrations at Himmel Haus and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. The North Shore gets into the act in late September and early October with events at Squaw Valley and Tahoe City. Camp Richardson, at the South Shore, closes down the lake’s Oktoberfest celebrations with its annual event Oct. 5-6.

Before becoming annual events celebrated throughout the U.S. Oktoberfest originated with the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony on Oct. 12, 1810, according to the city of Munich’s website.

“Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria,” according to the site. “The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.

“In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse,” the website continues. “The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.

“The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.”

Today, the German festival attracts about 6 million visitors from around the world, according to the site.

Events at Lake Tahoe include ample amounts of German beer, bratwurst-eating contests, keg-rolling and stein-holding competitions and live music.

The events will also include a traditional sense of fashion.

Wearing lederhosen or a traditional dirndl dress is rewarded at several of Tahoe’s Oktoberfest events.

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