The annual Montrose Oktoberfest returned for the 37th year on a fall day that may very well have been mistaken for summer. But the heat did not deter families from coming out in droves last Saturday, nor did it prevent them from enjoying four stages of music, a variety of carnival rides, contests and, of course, authentic German food and beer.
Over 250 volunteers helped the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce pull Oktoberfest together, a celebration that extended through four blocks of Honolulu Avenue. According to Melinda Clarke, executive director of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, students from Clark Magnet, Crescenta Valley and Glendale high schools contributed heavily to populating the streets of Montrose with booths and rides for the celebration, which lasted from noon to 11 that night.
“This event wouldn’t be anything without our volunteers,” said Clarke.
Those volunteers also helped set up the four stages positioned near each intersection along Honolulu, which featured musical acts new and familiar, as well as classic contests such as Lil’ Miss and Master Oktoberfest, the stein-holding competition and the best dressed dog contest.
D’os.v.e.v. d’oberlandlers, the dance group that performs traditional Bavarian dances with authentic music and costumes, made their usual appearance at the Montrose Oktoberfest, with three performances on three separate stages throughout the day.
Oktoberfest also featured returning acts like FM Radio, Northern Strangers, Flights Over Phoenix, The Po’Dunk Poets and more, as well as new bands like Horny Toads, Past Action Heroes and CV Church.
Glendale City Councilmembers Paula Devine and Mayor Zareh Sinanyan also made appearances with students from Franklin Magnet School’s German Immersion Program.
“As a former teacher, it was especially fantastic to see the parents so involved,” said Devine, who greeted the crowd with “Hello” in the Immersion program’s four languages: French, Italian, Spanish and, of course, German.
Devine said that events like Oktoberfest always draw her to Montrose.
“Just like with the 9/11 procession, Montrose always does such a fantastic job with these events.”
The spirit of Oktoberfest was also exemplified through competitions held throughout the day, such as the endurance test of the stein holding contest or the costume work of the lederhosen-clad participants in the Mr. and Ms. Oktoberfest competition and the Lil’ Miss Oktoberfest contest, won by Claire-Anne Pulido, all of 3 months old.
Food from Shreiner’s Fine Sausages in Montrose kept bellies full with authenticity, as well as sausages, potato salad and cole slaw well into the night.
Photos by Dan HOLM & Leonard COUTIN.