By Ann Powers
For the TODAY
Noch ein Bier, bitte! (nock ine beer bit-a)
Translation: Another beer, please!
Practice this, because it’s a phrase that will certainly come in handy during the 3rd Annual Pacific City Oktoberfest at the Kiawanda Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Once you’ve got the lingo down, bust out your best lederhosen or don your prettiest dirndl and bring your thirst and appetite to the age-old German and Swiss celebration of life and happiness.
Pacific City’s fall festive fun includes lots of authentic food, a boisterous beer garden featuring Pacific Northwest breweries, beer tastings and judging, a ceremonial keg tapping, live accordion music throughout the day, dancing, special performances, raffles, contests and prizes. There will also be bouncy houses and arts and crafts for the kids.
“Especially in the south county there’s a really rich tradition of Swiss, German and Bavarian immigrants and I think it’s important for us to remember where we came from and those who built Tillamook County,” said Adam Schwend, the 2018 festival Bürgermeister. “It’s going to be a great time and a celebration of some great heritage.”
Schwend added he’s a proud “member of a big Swiss family” and participated in his family’s polka band while in college. He owns a pair of lederhosen from those glory days and hopes to be wearing them again this weekend when he leads the ceremonial keg tapping at noon.
“I just have to make sure I can still fit in them,” he said. “I was a different size than I was in college and somehow that leather shrank.”
Pacific City Oktoberfest proceeds benefit local nonprofits and the Kiawanda Community Center. Organizers are expecting hundreds of guests to join the jubilation.
“For our community center it’s our largest fundraiser of the year,” said center Chairperson Ken Moffett. “It’s one of the only beach Oktoberfests that there is where you can actually walk over the dune and there it is. Kids can do arts and crafts; mom and dad can have pretzels and beers.”
The Oar House Bar & Grill will be closed for the day to run the kitchen at the community center. The crew will be serving up bratwurst and other sausages, beer cheese, beer mustard, pretzels, spätzle and more – all prepared by the popular restaurant. Megpies Bakery & Café will also be on-hand with homemade apple strudel goodness.
“The Kiawanda Community Center is fantastic and I believe in it,” said Oar House co-owner Michael Munro. “We try to support as many community events as possible. We are 100 percent behind the community center and the community.”
This coastal Oktoberfest is the brainchild of former Pacific City resident Tony Branz. He said he wanted to organize an event as a tribute to the area, which largely depends on a busy summer tourism season to help sustain the local economy.
“We wanted to do something where we got together with friends, neighbors and families in the community and raise our glasses and say, ‘We made it through another summer,’” said Branz who recently moved to Hawaii with his wife, Danielle. “I just wanted to do something by the community and for the community.”
The Pacific City Oktoberfest will run from 11 am to 8 pm at the Kiawanda Community Center, 34600 Cape Kiwanda Drive.
Admission is $5, or pay $25 for an entry package that includes four taster tickets, an Oktoberfest pint glass and one raffle ticket. The event is free for children 12 and under. Drink and food tickets will be available for purchase, as well as mementos including limited-edition t-shirts designed by local artist Sara Larson.
For more information contact the Kiawanda Community Center at 503-965-7900, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Facebook @PC Oktoberfest.