Octoberfest brings the tastes of Germany to Jacksonville Beach

Writer: Aisling Healy


Photographer - Charles Wagoner
Photographer – Charles Wagoner

Ever had an interest in Germany’s food and culture? Oktoberfest might be the scene for you. Taking place this Friday, The beaches Oktoberfest will be held at Jacksonville Beach Sea Walk Pavilion from October 16-18. October is here and so is the fest.

This will be the beaches Oktoberfest’s second annual festival, and it is North Florida’s largest Oktoberfest. After speaking with Charles Wagoner, an organizer of the event, he explained the theme of the festival. “Oktoberfest originally started in Germany, and has been a success, so we decided to bring one here locally to Jacksonville.” Wagoner talked about the many German costumes or outfits that people wear to participate in the cultural event, and how the festival will provide German music, as well as German food.

The event takes places two weeks before Halloween so, “You don’t have to dress up, but many do,” says Wagoner. The event is open to the public with free admission, but if you were quick enough, VIP passes were sold. The passes sold for Saturday and Sunday include a 20 ounce souvenir beer stein, a beer passport booklet, one free beer of your choice at the festival, a free t-shirt upon completion of the four beers in your beer passport, preferred concert seating, private bathrooms, and pet access for the Dogtoberfest held on Sunday.

12805_1547182105525504_5048977423317117156_nYes, a lot of beer is consumed at this festival. Craft-Toberfest is happening only Friday night, from 6 P.M.-10 P.M. and with the VIP pass purchased for just Friday, unlimited sampling passes will allow participants to try as many beers as their heart desires for the night.

Adults aren’t the only ones being catered to, Oktoberfest has something to offer to all ages. Face painting, airbrush artists, rock climbing, German games and even a pumpkin patch will all be included. There will be a village of about 10 food trucks, and all will include a sampling of something German as well as their own authentic style of food. Since The beaches Oktoberfest is established around the German theme, the festival will be based around 5 different German cities.

As far as the difference between Oktoberfest and Jaxtoberfest, Wagoner says, “It’s just two different companies in charge, and ours has a Ferris wheel and attracts a wild variety of different music.” Yes, a 100-foot Ferris wheel will be there, the idea is adopted from the original Oktoberfest held in Germany.

About the music, the entertainment lineup is full of variety. “The Expendables” from California are coming to play, as well as “SideReal,” “The Band Be Easy” and plenty others, including traditional German music performing Friday-Sunday .

Oktoberfest isn’t only for kids and adults of all ages, but your furry friends too. Oktoberfest is benefitting “No more Homeless Pets,” which is an organization that provides pet programs, veterinary services and are involved in a lot of volunteer work around the community. Dogtoberfest will be happening on Sunday, the 18 showcasing over 10 local shelters. There will be dog costumes, dog prizes and even pet adoptions. Oktoberfest doesn’t sound too ruff.

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