Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s Best Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest 41 - Big Bear Lake CA

This year the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest expands its bier garden for a more comfortable social area and enhances the entertainment lineup with more authentic entertainers and musicians than ever before. The additions and improvements continue to keep Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest rated Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest, and at the forefront of top-ranked Oktoberfests in the nation. Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest runs six and a half consecutive weekends, Saturday, September 17 to Saturday, October 29.

“Our Oktoberfest is the closest thing to the famous Bavarian festival in Germany,” said Monica Marini, managing director of The Convention Center at Big Bear Lake. “It’s located right in the heart of an alpine setting; we serve real German beer, real German strudel, and we even import a band from Germany.”

One of the major attractions that set Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest apart from other Southern California Oktoberfests is its engaging non-stop entertainment, wacky German antics and special contests. Back by popular demand is Die Mainfloesser Band direct from Germany. The band combines a unique blend of traditional German polkas and American pop music. The Express Band, Southern California’s premier German band performs the first two weekends and the final two weekends.

New on the entertainment bill is Die Trachten Verein Traunstoana, a dance group from Abtenau, Austria, performing traditional Austrian folk dances. Other authentic dance troupes performing customary dances include the Danube Swabain Dancers, Cripple Creek Cloggers and D’Oberlanders.

The Chicken Dance is the definitive favorite dance at Oktoberfest and always amusing. Every weekend expect to see a huge dance floor filled with hundreds of revelers clucking away to the Chicken Dance. Other fun amusement are the competitions and contests, which include log sawing, stein carrying, sausage eating, stein holding, safe slam beer chugging and limbo dancing. Children’s fun and games include pretzel eating contests, kiddy mug holding matches and Midway carnival-style games.

Family Fun

The main outside bier garden at the southeast wing expands this year to 3,100 square feet. It now has more accessible space and allows for a more festive social atmosphere. Sports fans are in for a treat with ample seating and big screen TVs perfect for watching college and pro football games, as well as the World Series playoffs. Also, Samson the Mechanical Bull ride is now closer to the bier garden giving easy access to this popular attraction. A secondary outside bier garden located near the north entrance also expands 200 square feet this year, doubling its size from last year.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an authentic Oktoberfest without real German food and real German beer! On tap this year is Warsteiner Pilsner, Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Oktoberfest and King Ludwig Hefeweizen. There is also a Jägermeister Happy Hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Saturday of the festival. The food is as authentic as it gets, too. In fact, the bratwurst is bought from a German butcher in Los Angeles and strudel from a German bakery in Downey! Outside is The Budenstrasse (Avenue of the Booths), which provides a variety of arts and crafts vendors.

Big Bear’s Oktoberfest kicks off with American’s Hero weekend on Saturday, September 17 offering free admission for all past and present military, fire fighters and law enforcement. Opening festivities include a special tribute to all those that put their lives on the line protecting America’s freedoms.

The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest provides an excuse to enjoy a weekend away from the stress and obligations of everyday life in a beautiful alpine setting. It begins Saturday, September 17 and runs for six and a half consecutive weekends through Saturday, October 29, 2011. The weekend festivities takes place at The Convention Center of Big Bear Lake located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. The first two weekends (Sept. 17-18 & Sept. 24-25) general admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors (65+), and $6 for children 12 and under on Saturdays; and $5 for adults, $4 for seniors with children 12 and under FREE on Sundays. The next four and a half weekends (Oct. 1 to Oct. 29) general admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+), and $8 for children 12 and under on Saturdays; and $7 for adults, $5 for seniors with children 12 and under FREE on Sundays.

For more details regarding online ticket savings, Burgermeister Party Packs, Kindermeister Party Packs (kid’s fun packs) and general information, log on to or call (909) 585-3000. The Big Bear Lake Resort Association is offering a variety of Oktoberfest lodging packages for the run of the festival. To learn more about lodging packages visit or call 800-424-4232.

Video of Oktoberfest in Big Bear CA

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An Authentic Alpine Celebration


  1. […] Bear’s famous Oktoberfest celebration kicks off this weekend with a tribute to America’s Hero’s. All past and present […]

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