Tradition of Fun Found at Oktoberfest

File photo
All things German, including steins, will be celebrated at the 42nd Annual Montrose Oktoberfest taking place this Saturday.


La Crescenta residents can have a taste of Germany at Montrose’s 42nd annual Oktoberfest on Saturday.

Oktoberfest is a beer festival and travelling carnival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. But despite its origins, the German festival is now celebrated worldwide and is a familiar festivity for the La Crescenta community.

Montrose will host its Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 5 with most activities beginning between noon and 2 p.m. The event will have a variety of contests, games, carnival rides, beer and food for attendees to purchase. It will also feature live performances, including one by Crescenta Valley High School alumna DJ Chloe.

Victoria Malone, executive director of Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, said Oktoberfest was something that evolved out of local German celebrations when the community boasted a large German population. Now, it’s a popular event among all local residents.

“We hear from many people in our community how much they look forward to [Oktoberfest],” Malone said. “We actually even have someone flying in from Oklahoma [to join the fun].”

Malone added that, over the last 30 years, she’s noticed that the Montrose Oktoberfest has become more family-friendly. Though alcohol will be served, it will be only at designated areas of the festival while the remainder will have carnival games, contests and rides. Children can enter contests like Little Mister and Little Miss Oktoberfest, best coloring and best dressed dog. Adults also have their own contests to enter, including a beard and mustache contest that is also traditionally held at Bavarian festivals.

Local businesses, organizations and volunteers are heavily involved in helping put the Montrose Oktoberfest together. Businesses will be setting up their own booths to promote and sell their merchandise, while volunteers will be overseeing the activities held throughout the event.

“Whether it’s children or adults coming up and purchasing what is being sold or offered in your booth, it’s a great way to connect and have conversations with people from the community,” Malone said.

There will also be a food drive at this year’s Oktoberfest, Malone said, with the collected canned goods being donated to the Bailey Center at the United Methodist Church in Tujunga. The first 250 donors will receive a plastic beer stein for the donation.

Security at the event will be handled by the Glendale Police Dept. Sergeant Dan Suttles said that GPD will be having the same approach to security as it has in the past and is assigning uniformed officers at the festival.

“We’re also going to utilize barricades and other types of heavier equipment trucks to help secure the perimeter,” he said.

He added that GPD probably assigns more people to Oktoberfest than is typical for events its size because it’s a long-standing event that the department has taken part in for many years.

People will find Montrose Oktoberfest in the 2200-2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue. The festival will take place from noon to 10 p.m.

“[Oktoberfest] is something people grow up attending,” Malone said. “Young children grow up [attending] with their family. Then when they have their own children, even if they’re out of the area, they know Oktoberfest is held the first Saturday of every October.”