Mountain Merry: Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest

Steins, songs, and supping deliciousness await autumntime revelers.

AT NEARLY A HALF CENTURY ALONG, the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest can more than rightfully claim that it is one of the Golden State's most stein-shiny, pretzel-tasty to-dos. Maybe it is that crisp mountain air, the air that seems arrive around the time of the autumn equinox, or perhaps it is the food, and the costumes, and the general convivial atmosphere found for several weekends in a row at the rollicking party. Whatever you love best about the 46-year-old bash, it will make a return, as it always does, in September. But organizers are doing something a bit different in 2016, and it involves not one, not two, but three different German groups to lend the lark some serious oompah over the eight-weekend run. That means a couple of things. A? You'll have a ton of authentic tunes to get up and Chicken Dance to (or simply dance however you want, if that's your pleasure). And B? You could visit the party at three different times and enjoy three different bands. Oktoberfest happens each weekend from...

SATURDAY, SEPT. 10... through the last Saturday in October (yes, Saturday, not Sunday, so Oct. 29 is the final date). Alpenklänge breaks out the traditional ditties on Sept. 17 and 18, The New Mainflösser takes the last weekend in September and the first two weekends in October (complete with the singer's beloved Elvis-type stylings), and The Aalbachtal Express rounds it out on Oct. 15 and 16 and 22 and 23. Stein holding, yodeling, bratwurst, knockwurst, the enjoying of strudel, and several more hallmarks of the long-running celebration are in store, in addition to all of the excellent music-makery. Already ironing your lederhosen? Get even more excited by dancing in this general direction.

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