25th Annual Camp Richardson’s Oktoberfest

Historic Resort and Marina is adding new food and games to this year’s Oktoberfest on Oct. 5-6. New sausage varieties, Bavarian beef stew, Beacon beer and brat boil, and for dessert, delicious caramel apples are coming to the menu. There will also be chances to win a mountain bike and purchase 25th-anniversary merchandise including a commemorative glass stein from Germany and signature shirts. The fall festival, a favorite for visitors and locals, runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and entrance and parking for the event are free.

All festival tickets for food and beverage booths, pumpkin patch and kids’ inflatable activities must be purchased with cash at the ticket booths. (www.camprichardson.com/oktoberfest)

Festival-goers are encouraged to take advantage of the free bike valet in front of the Mountain Sports Center. Free parking is available in the resort’s Eagles Nest campground on paved sites or reserve a room in the resort’s historic hotel or a space in the campground.

Camp Richardson’s beer garden will be fully stocked with Oktoberfest and fall-inspired brews, including local brewery Alibi Ale Works. Festival-goers can choose from German Spaten, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Deschutes Chasin Freshies, St Archer Hazy, Ninkasi Oktoberfest, Hefeweizen, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, Red Ale, and Alibi Pilsner. The festival will also offer Crispin Cider and choice of wines for purchase.

In addition to the German-inspired brats and sausages, food choices will include roasted quarter chicken, a veggie “Beyond Bratwurst” option, and sides like roasted corn, pretzels, and apple strudel.

Camp Richardson’s ode to the Munich festival is well known for its range of family-friendly activities from face painting and balloon art to bouncy houses. This year there will be a new climbing wall and free pumpkin bowling. The “Gruber Family Band” will play live polka music both days and will be accompanied by Marcia Sarosik’s dancers from Lake Tahoe Shining Stars on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m.

Popular festival events include Sunday’s bratwurst eating contest. Interested contestants need to sign up by 1:30 p.m. at the pumpkin patch. The showdown takes place at 3 p.m. on the main stage. Lederhosen are optional but encouraged.

Other contests during the two-day festival range from beer stein holding to yodeling and costume contests for dogs and their owners. Winners receive gift certificates for food, activities, and lodging at the resort. New this year will be a Mountain Bike giveaway at 4 p.m. on Sunday, people can buy tickets to enter and they need not be present to win.

Vendor row will include many handcrafted and made in Tahoe choices like Tahoe Nevada Love, Gina’s Face Painting, Inspired Balloons, Tahoe Henna, Sierra Essentials, and RISE design apparel and hats.

There is still time to catch a ride on Camp Richardson’s Rum Runner cruise. Boats depart Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., for a 90-minute round trip cruise to Emerald Bay. Spots are limited, and reservations are recommended to guarantee a berth aboard the resort’s yacht. The Rum Runner will run daily, minimum occupancy required, at 1 p.m. through Oct. 14.

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