The German American Social Club's wildly successful, and popular, Oktoberfest celebration returns next weekend for six days of fun, food and, of course, beer!
The GSAC has been hosting and growing the event for 25 years, during which it has become the premier Oktoberfest celebration on Florida's west coast, if not the entire state.
Chairman Paul Mills said Oktoberfest drew more than 32,000 people last year, many from as far away as New York.
"We get people from all over," Mills said. "We have bus loads of people coming from Gainesville, people coming from New York and buses coming from Naples and Miami."
Just over a week away from opening night, Mills said the preparations are on schedule.
The main tent was being erected, banners were being hung and food was being delivered when Mills spoke to the Breeze last week. While the beer has yet to arrive, Mills the schnapps was already on hand.
Who: German American
What: 25th Annual Oktoberfest
When: Oct 22 - 24, 29 - 31,
Where: 2101 S.W. Pine Island
Road, Cape Coral
His third year as event chair, Mills thinks the event has endured and flourished over the year because the GASC hasn't done anything drastic to alter the festivities, and people can expect constants from year to year.
"Not too much has really changed over the years," Mills said. "I wanted to keep the Bavarian theme the same and not make a carnival out of it. There's still a lot of stuff for kids, of course, but we keep the same theme."
Budweiser products will be served at Oktoberfest, as will all the food favorites like potato pancakes and full dinners in Von Stueben Hall.
Mills said another reason Oktoberfest has remained popular are the prices, which haven't changed over the last few years.
"We froze prices because our suppliers didn't raise their prices," he said. "We haven't increased beer prices ... we didn't raise anything."
Admission is $5 per person in advance, $6 at the gate.
Entertainment is provided all day, each day of the Oktoberfest. The headliner is Blaskapelle Peng, which the GASC flew in directly from Germany. Mills said the band was booked a year in advance, and was found by a GASC member who flew to Germany.
The 25th Annual Oktoberfest runs Oct. 22 - 24, 29 - 31. Hours are: Fridays, 4 p.m. - midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; and Sunday, noon - 9 p.m.
For information, call the German American Social Club at 283-1400, or visit its website at www.gasc-capecoral.com.
The German American Social Club, and its 2010 Oktoberfest, is located at 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road, Cape Coral.