Big Bear Oktoberfest Details Now Oompahing

Chicken dance at the mountain-fun spot on the first Saturday in September.

What to Know

  • Big Bear Lake Convention Center
  • Sept. 7-Nov. 2, weekends
  • Four German bands, stein-holding competitions, kids' activities, bratwurst, craft brews

Encountering a number of opportunities over the summer to improve our upper arm strength and knack for keeping our hand steady?

We do, quite often, from handing a hefty tray of hamburgers to the person at the grill to holding up our arms as a loved one douses us in sunblock.

Backstroking in a pool, bodyboarding at the beach, and a host of other activities keep us limber and strong.

Which is all leading, of course, to September, when our new-found fortitude comes into play when we volunteer to take part in a stein-holding contest at a major Oktoberfest celebration.

And one of the majors?

It doesn't even wait for October to get oom-pah-pah-ing, or even late September. It's the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, one of the celebratory stalwarts of the summer-to-fall festival calendar, a party that will mark its first 50 years in 2020.

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If you're ready to out-hold a stein, or Chicken Dance, or hear a band straight from Germany — there will be four in 2019 — then best know that this tuba-riffic to-do will fill up nine merry weekends, beginning on Sept. 7.

The place?

It's Big Bear Lake Convention Center. And the happenings'll go far beyond the traditional stein-holding and stein-carrying competitions. Look also for log sawing, and a chance to show off your yodeling skills, and plenty of things for kids to try (there's even an area filled with inflatables).

Craft beers, micro brews, and bratwurst are all part of the suds 'n sustenance scene.

A scene that has a bit of that Munich mojo, thanks in part to Big Bear's tree-filled setting.

"We want to give our guests a little slice of Bavaria right here in Big Bear Lake," says Monica Marini, director of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. 

The community does possess some Bavarian vibes and woodsy beauty.

If you're craving a high-elevation place to show off your stein-holding abilities, the ones you've worked on all summer as you've built up your strength, make a date to polka up to the mountain town each weekend from Sept. 7 through Nov. 2, 2019.

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