With the return of crisp cool mornings and the changing of the trees, we are reminded that fall is right around the corner. There is no greater harbinger of the harvest season than the annual Oktoberfest at the Bigham Knoll campus. Celebrating its 10th year, Oktoberfest has become a community festival beseeching us to enjoy the dying days of summer amongst our neighbors, families and friends. A seasonal standard of music, dancing, and beer, the tradition of Oktoberfest harkens back to the 1810 royal Bavarian wedding celebration of King Ludwig to Princess Therese. Held in Munich every year during the last two weeks of September, it is one of the most mimicked cultural events held in almost every country throughout the world. In recognition of Jacksonville’s German Heritage, the Jacksonville Oktoberfest is a reminder of the many contributions by the early German pioneers.
Hosted by the Jacksonville Heritage Society, Oktoberfest has become the primary fundraiser committed to re-opening the Jacksonville Children’s Museum. Shuttering its doors in 2008 with the departure of the Southern Oregon Historical Society from Jacksonville, the museum was a beloved institution dedicated to engaging children with the pioneer history of Southern Oregon. A destination for locals and visitors alike, both the History Museum and Children’s Museum covered a breadth of topics from the photography of Peter Britt to the antics and career of Pinot Colvig, better known as Bozo the Clown.
Held September 29-October 1, this year’s Oktoberfest will continue all the traditional fun of years past with added games, activities, food trucks and events to enhance the experience for all. Friday night features the 3rd Annual Oktoberfest games, live music all night and a movie in the biergarten. Saturday kicks-off everyone’s favorite Oktoberfest trappings, with a ceremonial parade for the kids, keg tapping, bratwurst-eating competitions benefitting the Jacksonville Fire Department as well as the 4th Annual Ms. Oktoberfest pageant. Then on Sunday, the festivities continue with a family-focused schedule. There will be a wandering magician, cow train rides, face painting and the always-popular Princess Court as well as a $5.00 growler fill after 4:00pm on any remaining kegs of beer.
This year the music will again feature The Alpen Vagabund on the stage, direct from Europe, as well as Chervona from Portland making their Oktoberfest debut. And of course a crowd favorite, the Kalifornia Krauts will be returning to the stage. Last but not least, the Rogue Valley’s very own Sauerkrauts will be delighting the crowd throughout the weekend.
So grab a stein and your dancing shoes and join the party!
For more information please visit www.jvilleoktoberfest.org or call 541-899-1000.