LEDERHOSEN TO THE LAUNDRY: If it has been just under a year since you last donned your dirndl or lederhosen, you've still got time to get your Oktoberfest-ready togs pressed for the opening date of the Big Bear party. It all kicks off, for its 47th year, on Saturday, Sept. 9, and the festival will break out the steins and songs each weekend right through to Sunday, Oct. 28. Though you actually don't need a dirndl or lederhosen to attend, you should bring your affection for long-running festivals, mountain-merry gatherings, and the kind of German brews you might find in Munich come the fall. In fact, the party is adding another authentic label to its German beer line-up in 2017, Ayinger Beer, a gold medal-winning Bavaria concoction that's made just a short drive outside of Munich. Fans of the festival may have enjoyed Spaten or Franziskaner in the past, but whatever your pleasure, you'll likely find a mug of it, or something as traditional and celebratory, at the Convention Center of Big Bear Lake over the late-summer, early-fall weekends on the schedule.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING... at the music-filled bash? Well, live bands playing dance-it-up tuneage, for sure. The 2017 acts include Matt's Infinity, which rocks the "traditional and modern German music," and Goldeisen, a Bavarian band (complete with nine members). When you're not lifting those knees out on the dance floor, you might be competing in log sawing, stein carrying, or stein holding, which, of course, is distinct from stein carrying but no less challenging or potentially spill-y. Apple strudel, baked fresh, and sizable pretzels will bring the fortifying goodness, as will other foodstuffs. Can you believe autumn is blowing in and, with it, happy people in chicken suits ready to Chicken Dance at Bavarian-fun mountaintop to-dos? You can believe it, because it is true. For more true need-to-knows, like admission prices, times, and details, Chicken Dance over to the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest's info-packed site now.