Fifth annual Oktoberfest Community Celebration

© 2017-Siuslaw News

Saturday, Oct. 14 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Florence Events Center

Oktoberfest dates back to 1810, when festivities commenced on Oct. 12 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. While the Crown Prince and his bride have long since passed away, Oktoberfest celebrations continue, and the standard-bear- ing party in Munich is annually among the world’s most anticipated events.

Those who can’t make it to Germany this October can get a small taste of Bavaria at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St., during the fifth annual Oktoberfest Celebration in Florence.

Making the most of this event can help revelers feel as if they’re in Munich after all.

Siuslaw News file photos

Celebrate with a group

Oktoberfest celebrations are social gatherings where the notion of “the more, the merrier” certainly applies. At the FEC, communal tables mean you may be seated near people outside of your group, including guest entertainers, such as the Alpine Echoes Band or some of this year’s dancers. Take this chance to promote brotherhood and meet your neighbors.

Resolve to try new cuisine

While beer might garner the bulk of the attention at Oktoberfest celebrations, food is just as big a part of the festivities. This year’s Oktoberfest features bratwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad, as well as potato soup in a bread bowl, pretzels, pickle on a stick, popcorn and soft drinks. Many food vendors’ prof- its go to support Friends of the FEC, Florence Regional Arts Alliance, Boys & Girls Club of Western Lane County, Last Resort Players and Florence Food Share. This year’s dessert is apple strudel with ice cream.

Get up and dance

Even celebrants who are unlikely to be mistaken for Fred and Ginger anytime soon recognize the important role music plays in Oktoberfest celebrations.

While some may mistake it for polka, the music played at Oktoberfest celebrations is actually German “oompah.” Those skittish about stepping in may want to wait until they (and their friends and family also in attendance) have finished a stein before taking to the dance floor. Check out the traditional German dance groups, Skandia Leikarringen Dancers and the Tirolean Dancers, as well as the folk music by the Cultural Ecology Band and the Alpine Echoes Band.

Experience the entire festival

Celebrants can get their faces painted and take a picture at the BeauxArts Pho- to Booth. Outside, the Wiener Dog Races raise money for the American Cancer Society in the cutest way possible — with Dachshunds. There will also be raffles, contests and prizes.

Get home safe

Arrange transportation home before attending an Oktoberfest celebration. To ensure everyone arrives home safely, people can assign a designated driver from their group or arrange for a taxi to take them to and from the festival so no one feels the need to get behind the wheel.

Oktoberfest is annually one of the world’s biggest parties, but celebrants need not go all the way to Munich to en- joy a raucous celebration. Come down the Florence Events Center on Saturday, Oct. 14, for a whole day of beer, food, music and fun.

Tickets are $7 in advance, or $8 at the door. Visit eventcenter.org, stop by the Box Office at 715 Quince St. or call 541-997-1994.

2017 Schedule of Events

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St.

11 to 11:45 – Cultural Ecology Band
11:45 to 12:15 – Skandia Leikarringen (dancers)
12:15 to 1 – Alpine Echoes Band
1 to 1:15 – Contest
1:15 to 1:45 – Skandia Leikarringen
1:45 to 2:30 – Cultural Ecology Band
2 – Wiener Dog Race Registration Opens
2:30 to 2:45 – Contest
2:45 to 3:15 – Tirolean Dancers
3 – Wiener Dog Races (outside)
3:15 to 4 – Alpine Echoes Band
4 to 4:30 p.m. – Tirolean Dancers
4:30 to 5:15 – Alpine Echoes Band
5:15 to 6 – Cultural Ecology Band