Two weekends packed with live music, German food and activities will kick off Friday at the 26th annual Oktoberfest at the German American Social Club in Cape Coral.
This year the festival will be held on Oct. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30. The hours are from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday; noon to midnight on Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Mayor John Sullivan is going to tap the first keg on Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., which Oktoberfest Chairman Paul Mills said will be a first for the event.
Renate Bachmann pours a pitcher of Spaten Oktoberfest Beer during last year’s Oktoberfest celebration.
A non-denominational religious service will be held on both Sundays at 11 a.m. before Oktoberfest begins.
Mills said last year the event attracted 35,265 people during the six-day run, which is an increase from the year before of 32,000 people. He said in 2009, Oktoberfest brought out 29,000 people to the event.
"We are creeping up the ladder and hopefully it will be a little bit more active this year," Mills said.
What: German American Social
Club's 26th Annual Oktoberfest
When: Oct. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and
30 The hours are from 4 p.m.
to midnight on Friday; noon to
midnight on Saturday and from
noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday
Where: German American Social
Club is at 2101 S.W. Pine Island
Details: Admission is $6; children
under 12 free
Presale tickets for $5 can be purchased at Hess Express stations, Trebing Tile & Carpet, Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce and the German American Social Club. Tickets at the gate are $6.
Mills said the ticket prices have remained the same for the last seven years.
"We don't want to raise the prices," he said.
Children under 12, along with serving military and their families, will get in for free. An active ID needs to be shown at the gate for those active serving in the military.
"That is the least we can do for our young men and women," Mills said.
There will be 10 bands playing music constantly during the festival.
"It is the greatest show in Florida, no doubt about it," Mills said.
This year, a band from Austria, D'Hirschegger, will perform at Oktoberfest.
Such German favorite foods as sausage platters, roasted chicken, bratwurst, schweinhaxen, leberkaese and potato pancakes will be available to purchase, along with imported German beer, German wine and spirits and domestic beer.
A carnival area will be set up for the kids, featuring face painting, balloons, rides and games during Oktoberfest.
Mills said Lowe's will also have a little workshop area set up for the children.
"It is a great family event," Mills said. "It gets people's minds off of the bad economy, gives them time to let steam off."
A portion of the proceeds from Oktoberfest will be given to charities in Cape Coral and surrounding areas. Over the past 10 years, more than $250,000 has been given to charities.
The German American Social Club is located at 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road. For information, visit www.capecoraloktoberfest.com or call 239-283-1400.