Oktoberfest kicked off this weekend.
It’s a three day event Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“We have over 300 vendor booths. With pretzels, cotton candy, Mexican food, Filipino, Greek and Hawaiian barbecue. Lots of great things, places to shop with a lot of bargains. So come out and have a beer,” said David Smiley.
Nearby, a large parking lot is transformed into a German-style Lowenbrau Beer Garden. Inside you will find spirited oom-pah-pah bands, costumed folk dancers performing traditional waltzes and polkas, and dance floors for adults and kids so everybody can join the fun.
“It’s absolutely fabulous, it brings a lot of people to the village of La Mesa that wouldn’t normally come. They get to see all new and interesting kinds of shops,” Deanne Ross said.
“We get so many people coming out for the event. It’s one of the biggest Oktoberfests on the West Coast and we’ve been doing it for so long we have it down to a science. We know what works and doesn’t work, and we just hope that everyone comes out and joins us this weekend.”
Just how big is the La Mesa Oktoberfest? Lillian Kiefer, who has been coming for 20 years, said, “Wall to wall people! Probably over 30,000 in the day and at night it doubles.”
Kiefer is also a vendor and this year she has her grandchildren come to help out and make it a family affair.
If you've never been to an Oktoberfest, then the La Mesa event is a great place to start.