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Oktoberfest at Fairplex celebrates German culture

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John Cather, a trumpet player in the Rheinländers band, plays German folk music at the Pomona Fairplex Oktoberfest Oct. 4. These bands have played in the villages and pubs of Germany, Austria and Switzerland for over 100 years. / photo by Maydeen Merino

John Cather, a trumpet player in the Rheinländers band, plays German folk music at the Pomona Fairplex Oktoberfest Oct. 4. These bands have played in the villages and pubs of Germany, Austria and Switzerland for over 100 years. / photo by Maydeen Merino

Maydeen Merino
Assistant Editor

The Fairplex in Pomona kicked off its annual Oktoberfest Friday with fair-style food, beer selections, german folk music and entertainment. 

The Oktoberfest continues through Oct. 19 every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 p.m. 

The Rheinländers is a traditional German “Oom-Pah” band that performs at the Oktoberfest both Friday and Saturday. 

The band provides the audience with traditional German folk songs and entertainment.

“I get to do all the fun stuff, I am putting on dresses and chicken suits jumping around all night,” Craig Shields, band member, said.

“I am having a great time all night, it’s exhausting but it’s a lot of fun.” 

The Rheinländers host several contests for the audience to be apart of, such as an alphorn playing contest, women and men stein holding contest, women and men beer drinking contest, and the chicken dance. 

There are other forms of entertainment, such as a Led Zeppelin tribute band. 

On Oct. 11-12 there will be a Journey tribute band, and a Queen tribute on Oct. 18-19.

“I came here to enjoy the music with the Zeppelin cover band, friends, and the commemorated sign is always plus,” Miguel Portillo, Whittier resident, said. 

The Oktoberfest also includes a dance hall for guests to dance in from 8 p.m. until midnight. 

The festival offers guests a variety of food, mainly fair-like delicacies such as turkey legs, funnel cake, hand dipped ice cream and freshly baked jumbo Bavarian pretzels with German Mustard.

The main attraction for many is the variety of craft beers the Oktoberfest offers. 

“I am German and like the whole atmosphere and culture of the festival,” said Bobbie Parrell, a beer server.

Parrell has previously worked at other Oktoberfests but she said this one is bigger than the one in Big Bear. 

The Fairplex Oktoberfest offers 15 different beers, five different wines and five different other drinks, such as sangria and cocktails. 

“We heard about this festival and we came out to see the decorations and try the different beers and honestly, now that we are here, it is really more than I expected,” Vanessa Ruiz, Eastvale resident, said.

Admission on Fridays is $10 and $13 on Saturdays. All guests must be at least 21 years old to enter. Parking is $15, with Uber and Lyft drop off areas available as well.

Maydeen Merino can be reached at maydeen.merino@laverne.edu

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