The City of Oakland Park has perfected the art of Oktoberfest. The event organizers have learned what works when it comes to food, entertainment and activities and they have listened to attendees to add new features appealing to both adults and families.
“Oakland Park’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is known not only for dancing people, but dashing dachshunds as well,” says the City’s Parks and Leisure Services Director Heidi Burnett who enjoys dressing up in her dirndl for the occasion. “Our sponsorship relationship with Funky Buddha has taken our beer selection and food choices to a level rarely experienced at community and cultural events.”
The 14th Annual Oakland Park Oktoberfest takes place in the City’s downtown Jaco Pastorius Park (4000 N. Dixie Highway) on Friday, October 5 (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Saturday, October 6 (1 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and Sunday, October 7 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
Oktoberfest attendees old and new will be pleased the “Central Bark Dachshund Dash” will once again be the Saturday spectacle at 5 p.m. Dachshund owners must register with Central Bark Doggy Day Care at 954-568-3647.
Presenting sponsor Funky Buddha – Oakland Park’s nationally renowned craft brewery – is already brewing up a tasty array of German-inspired seasonal beers, including Floridian Hefeweizen (German wheat beer), Buddafest Marzen (a true German “festbier” brewed with Munich malts), Vibin’ Groovable Lager, Hop Gun IPA, and the award-winning Last Snow Coconut & Coffee Porter.
Besides the bevy of beverages, Oakland Park Oktoberfest offers some traditional Bavarian favorites with a new spin courtesy of the Funky Buddha Craft Food Counter whose chef has elevated grilled bratwurst to a savory taste experience by beer braising and serving with brewer’s cabbage, ale mustard, and caramelized onions on a fresh-baked poppy seed bun.
Funky Buddha Marketing Director John Linn shared some of the other culinary delights on the menu.
“Our chicken schnitzel features Florida Hefeweizen-marinated chicken cutlets pounded thin and served with ale mustard and beer pickles,” Linn said. “The sauerbraten is a German-style pot roast marinated in our Hop Gun IPA, vinegar, and spices and served with roasted root vegetables and a traditional ginger-snap gravy.”
Oakland Park’s Oktoberfest offers ample opportunities to dance off the calories with a full schedule of entertainment under the giant tent complete with dance floor and the Munich-style long tables where friendships are easily made.
Entertainment headliners include the San Antonio-based Alpine Express known both for their music and their audience participation antics. Master jodler, zither and accordion virtuoso Sepp Diepolder, as well as singers from Opera Fusion, are also on the bill.
Traditionally attired Schuhplattler dancers will feature performances by both adult and children dance troupes.
Oakland Park’s popular Mayor and Broward League of Cities President Tim Lonergan is always among those gracing the dance floor in attired in traditional lederhosen. “Community events and cultural festivals add so much to the fabric of a community,” states Mayor Lonergan. “Oakland Park is proud to present a calendar of events that reflect our city’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity.”
In addition to the Dachshund Dash, Pet Supermarket will sponsor a Doggie Fashion Show (for dogs 25 pounds and under) at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Categories include Doggie Diva (most fashionable), Twinning (owner & dog dress alike), and Oktoberfest Dog (best Oktoberfest costume). Pet Supermarket will award a prize in each category. Online application details can be found on the City’s Oktoberfest page.
Other Oktoberfest activities and contests include the beer barrel roll, beer stein races, and apple strudel eating contests. Culinary seminars include Beer and Cheese Pairings, Home Brewing, and Sausage Making.
Children can enjoy the carnival area with their favorite fair foods, rides and games. A Kid’s Corner will offer face painting, flower crowns, cookie decorating and other crafts.
General admission to Oakland Park’s Oktoberfest remains one of South Florida’s best bargains at $5 with ages 12 and under admitted free with adults. Premium parking will be available in the immediate vicinity of the park and free parking nearby with complementary shuttle services. As with many Oakland Park events, a special drop-off and pick-up will be designated for ride share services such as Uber and Lyft.
Please contact the City’s Parks and Leisure Services Department at 954-630-4500 to learn more about event and vendor information or volunteer opportunities. Visit the City’s website for a detailed entertainment schedule, menu and other updates: oaklandparkfl.gov/228/oktoberfest.