"Oktoberfest has become of Oakland Park signature events and is a major draw for our city which continues to evolve with the park expanded this past year to include a beautiful grand plaza fountain," says the City's Mayor John Adornato III. "We have created a true hometown festival with strong support from the Oakland Park business community such as the Funky Buddha Brewery and Central Bark Doggy Day Care."
Presenting sponsor Funky Buddha will be cooking up taste culinary pairings such their signature bratwurst with house-made ale mustard, tap room pretzels and specially-crafted Oktoberfest beer.
"We're extremely excited to bring a high level of food and drink service to Oktoberfest," said Funky Buddha Brand Director John Linn. "Oakland Park is our home and our pride, so to be able to play a big part in such an important community festival is truly rewarding for us."
Oakland Park's Oktoberfest is considered one of the largest in Florida and the city looks forward to welcoming thousands of residents and visitors. The downtown park turned "Biergarten" just north of the Dixie Highway/NE 38th Street intersection where Funky Buddha will host the "after party" each night.
Oakland Park always adds a creative twist to the traditional Oktoberfest festivities.
"Oktoberfest is truly meant to be a celebration of all ages and we encourage a lot of singing and dancing. This is the time of year when many of us can dress up in our dirndls lederhosen and get ready to party," says the City's Parks and Leisure Services Director Heidi Burnett. "We also engage our audience with fun Oktoberfest games and contests, such as our popular Central Bark Dachshund Dash, beer stein races and apple strudel-eating contests.
In addition to it renowned craft beers, Funky Buddha will produce the event's food from its Craft Food Counter & Kitchen located inside the brewery. Other items on the menu include "Kartoffelpuffer" (potato pancakes), chicken schnitzel, and sauerbraten. Apple strudel and dessert pretzels will satisfy snack and sweet tooth cravings. Children's meals and carnival food will also be available.
Funky Buddha's tap offerings will feature a special batch of "Marzen" -- an amber Bavarian lager traditionally served at Oktoberfest celebrations -- and a German-style "Jaco Pilsner" along with its best-selling "Florida Hefeweizen," "Hop Gun IP," and several of their specialty beers like "Last Snow" -- a coconut & coffee porter brewed with natural ingredients. Oktoberfest revelers can also enjoy the traditional "Prosit" toast with wines and other spirits from Oakland Park's Big Dog Station.
Another Oakland Park business that helps make Oktoberfest so popular is Central Bark Doggy Day Care which conducts the entertaining "Central Bark Dachshund Dash" on Saturday afternoon. Dachshund owners must register their dog in advance by called Central Bark Doggy Day Care at 954-568-3647.
Oakland Park Oktoberfest offers a festive atmosphere with German cuisine, beverages and music. The event also features a carnival midway with rides & games and the new "Spielzelt" with children's activities and crafts. This year will also debut Oktoberfest's "Kulinarisches zelt" which will present a Brewmaster Workshop, Sausage Making Demonstration and Home Brewing Seminar (all three activities will be presented both Saturday and Sunday).
The large "Schottenhamel" tents will replicate a festive Bavarian village celebration, including a stage and dance floor. Scheduled entertainment includes the Oktoberfest party band Euro Express, as well as German musician and singer Sepp Diepolder whose talents include the accordion, jodler and zither. Performances by the Auerhahn Schuhplattlers dancers will delight attendees on Saturday with their colorful attire and dancing displays.
The Downtown Culinary Arts District provides free parking along Oakland Park Main Street with shuttle service. There will also be paid premium parking north of Jaco Pastorius Park and affordable parking in close proximity to the main entrance through the Jaco Grand Plaza. Festival admission is $5 with accompanied children 12 and under admitted free.
For sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and other information, please visit: www.oaklandparkfl.gov or call the City's Parks and Leisure Services office at 954-630-4500. Other sponsors include Brown Distributing, Hot Spots, Mark's List, South Florida Gay News and Sun-Sentinel.