Even if you know, well and truly, that Oktoberfest is actually a September thing, or at least is a begins-in-September thing, and even though you can recall attending for your first stein-raiser a week or two after Labor Day, the boisterous, schnitzel-scented, fall-time frolic can really sneak up on an old-school party person.
And perhaps nowhere more so than Southern California, thanks in part to our warmer September. For while parts of our region flirt with three-digit, very unautumnlike temperatures, the first lederhosen shall be donned at Old World Huntington Beach.
Traditionally SoCal's first out-the-door, let's-start-this-thing party, the Old World Oktoberfest kicks into high, Chicken-Dancing form on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Shall there be oompah? It's not really Oktoberfest, here or in its home of Munich or anywhere, without the sonorous, chest-filling music. Shall there be contests, like heavy stein-holding? Oof. Yes. That just looks difficult. And fun, too, we're sure? Shall there be Dachshund Races on Sundays during Old World's Oktoberfest run? Oh goodness, count on it. That's one of the crowd-pleasers of the several-week affair. ("Several-week affair"=Nov. 2 end date, but check the fest's days of the week before lederhosening-up.)
What else is to come on the regional Oktoberfests horizon? Anaheim's festive Phoenix Club gets it going, beer hall-style, on Friday, Sept. 19, Lake Arrowhead's lake-close party starts the last weekend in September and raises the Tyrolian roofs, every weekend, right through the end of October, and Big Bear Lake's multi-event celebrations kick off on Saturday, Sept. 13. Yep, there shall be log-sawing on the roster.
Log. Sawing. The sawing of logs.
Do you need to wear traditional costume to attend any of these? Nope. Do you need to drink beer? Nope. Do you need to dance? Nope, but, please, think about it: The everyone-on-the-dance-floor spirit is at the heart of oompah's oomph.
Will there be plenty of one-day-only Oktoberfests popping up around SoCal, complementing those out-sized, month-plus festivals?
We only have one thing to say to that? Does a Dachshund dash fast? (Answer: yes.)