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Strap On Your Dirndl – Oktoberfest is Just Around the Corner!

Posted by on Sep 29th, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Ted AYALA

Local fans of bratwursts, strudels, beer, and Bavarian good cheer will have much to rejoice this weekend. The Montrose Oktoberfest, a favorite of locals and visitors from afar alike, returns to Honolulu Avenue on Saturday.     Organized and run by the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce (MVCC), Oktoberfest will be enjoying its 34th year. Lasting from noon until 11 p.m., the event attracts thousands of young and old from across the region for its games, contests, food, and of course, the beer.

Though a celebration of food and merriment, Oktoberfest has been a largely traditional event that caters to children and adults. But with the rise of the Eagle Rock Music Festival down south, young people began to be lured away to the indie rock acts performing in the neighboring city.

Enter Joe Allen.

An officer of the Glendale Police, Allen also holds a seat on the board of directors of the MVCC.

“There was something missing,” said Allen. “Oktoberfest is a great event which brings a lot of fun to kids and their parents. But there wasn’t much to hold the interest of the area’s young adults.”

Cribbing notes from the Eagle Rock event, Allen devised an idea that would add a new dimension to Oktoberfest – and grab young people’s attention.”

“Rocktoberfest,” he said with pride. “That’s a whole new concept we’re bringing this year. We’re going to be adding a third stage for musicians. But what’s different here is that this will be a venue to give exposure to young and local musicians to the visitors of Oktoberfest.”

The third stage won’t merely be an extra stage, but an enclosed venue that Oktoberfest organizers hope will draw the area’s youth.

“We’re going to have music playing there from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.,” noted Allen. “We’ve got some really amazingly talented musicians here in the area and we’re going to give them a great place to shine.”

Among the local acts to be featured at Rocktoberfest will be the Christopher Brothers of La Cañada. The boys, aged 10, 13, and 15, have become a local sensation and are looking to scale the heights of pop music.

“This is going to be big,” added the officer. “And we’ve been getting loads of interest from the local community. Blue Moon Lounge is our primary sponsor for Rocktoberfest. Other sponsors include Giuseppe’s, Billy’s Board Shop, and Monster Energy Drink.”

MVCC organizers are hoping that Rocktoberfest will boost attendance at the main event.

“I really don’t think we’ve done enough for young people,” Allen reflected. “They need a space here in the community where they can go to. We also want people to recognize Oktoberfest as being an event with diverse entertainment.”

Along with the new, some old favorites are returning for Oktoberfest.   “We’re definitely having the turkey legs come back,” said the MVCC president Scott Trulik. “The crowds loved them, so we’re happy to carry them again. Pretzel booths will be back, too. Can’t have an Oktoberfest without pretzels.”

Support for this year’s Oktoberfest has been very strong, with Rite-Aid, J’s Maintenance, Montrose Travel, and Leo’s All-Star Bar & Grill among the event’s many sponsors.

“We’re very happy to have the support of the local business community behind us,” added Trulik.

According to Trulik, Oktoberfest 2010 attracted approximately 35,000 visitors to the area. “This year we’re looking to push that to 40,000.”

Reflecting on the event’s history and special place in the community, Trulik reminded locals what makes the event so special.

“Oktoberfest isn’t just an event. It’s a chance for our residents to come together, see some of their neighbors and friends that they many not have seen in awhile, make some new friends, and share memories.”

Oktoberfest will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 beginning at the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue. More information can be found by calling the MVCC at (818) 249-7171 or by visiting their website at www.montrosechamber.org/oktoberfest.

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