Celebrate German Traditions in Wine Country with Oktoberfest
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi hoi!
Raise your beer steins high in the air because an age-old German institution is taking shape right here in the valley as Europa Village Winery presents their inaugural Oktoberfest celebration this Friday night.
Europa Village is a winery known for bringing European customs and traditions to the Inland Empire.
“We celebrate Italian, Spanish and French cultures, primarily, but felt Oktoberfest was another way we could blend old world traditions with Temecula wine country life,” Jennifer Kopack, Société Europa Membership Coordinator, said during a recent interview.
Oktoberfest, the annual celebration in Bavarian Germany, runs from late September to early October and has been entertaining countrymen and women for over two centuries. The Europa Village version, in its first year, will consist of some of the same activities, food and refreshments as the real thing.
“There will be barrel races as well as some other festival-type games,” Kopack said. “There will be live music by the oompah band, The Hofbrau Boys. There will be many local craft breweries serving beer, wine tasting, and a fundraising raffle and all of our villagers will be in authentic dress.”
Revelers will have a chance to sample authentic German fare including bratwurst, German potato salad and cucumber salad as well as treats including soft pretzels and funnel cakes. Europa Village wine as well as beer from brewery partners including Refuge, Ironfire, Craft Brewing, Hanger 24, and Garage Brewing will also be available for purchase.
The admission price of $15 includes entrance to the event, a commemorative Oktoberfest beer glass, games and live music. Proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit organization All From the Heart.
“All From the Heart was founded in 2004 to support our wounded warriors and local military families in need,” Kopack said. “They have provided many electric wheelchairs to disabled veterans and we are very much hoping to raise enough money at our Oktoberfest to gift one more.”
Guests are encouraged to join the event “villagers” and don their best Bavarian Dirndl dresses and lederhosen as there will be a contest for the best costume.
Oktoberfest has always been a place for Germans to congregate, celebrate and toast their friends and neighbors. At Europa Village Winery’s salute to the original, Temecula residents have the chance to share a table and drink to the harvest with their loved ones, right here in their own hometown.
“What better way to begin a new tradition at the winery than to partner with local craft breweries and support a local charity that is doing amazing work for our heroes,” Kopack said. “For about the cost of going to a movie, you will get some terrific entertainment, be able to sample some incredible local beer and wine, and support a charity that is doing amazing work for our wounded warriors and their families.”