Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, September 14, 2015 by MCVB Staff
By Whitney Butler
Is that polka music? Why, yes, it is, which means Oktoberfest is just around the corner.
The annual and original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is a celebration that dates back to the early 1800s. The first recorded festival was in honor of a royal wedding and included horseracing, choral music and other Bavarian customs.
Corte Madera, located in Marin County at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais, is a lot closer than Germany, particularly for people who live near the Bay Area. For more than 20 years, Corte Madera has hosted its own version of Oktoberfest, capturing the spirit of the season—polka and all—while successfully celebrating Marin’s unique community culture in the process. Here are six reasons you’ll want to attend Oktoberfest Corte Madera.
1.Local Craft Beer—Duh!
If there’s one thing synonymous with Oktoberfest, it’s beer, and Oktoberfest Corte Madera attracts some of the best breweries in Northern California.
Guests who purchase tasting tickets ($25) will receive a commemorative glass mug to fill up at several local/family craft brew stations. Enjoy Northern California favorites like Lagunitas and Anchor Steam, and definitely don’t miss your chance to explore local brews from Marin Brewing Co.
2.Wine and Cider
Not a beer drinker? Not a problem—Corte Madera adds its own twist to Oktoberfest by featuring more than just ales and lagers. Marin is home to many notable wineries and family-owned vineyards; enjoy wine tastings from area favorites as well as hard ciders from locally sourced fruit.
3.Food al Fresco
What festival is complete without an assortment of grilled, barbecued or baked treats? Marin is beautiful in the fall—sunny skies and cool offshore breezes make it the perfect atmosphere to enjoy food out in the open. Oktoberfest features a bounty of traditional festival foods as well as some German-inspired fare like bratwursts, potato salad and more. You’ll find a bit of everything, from Italian pizza and handmade tamales to ice cream and root beer floats.
At the heart of Oktoberfest Corte Madera is a deep sense of community and culture, which is greatly influenced by the volunteers of the Corte Madera Beautification Committee. Founded in 1993, this group has artfully improved the public spaces of the city and helped coordinate public events funded by the Corte Madera Community Foundation, a nonprofit focused on community-based initiatives. Corte Madera’s Oktoberfest is the committee’s largest fundraising event of the year. Supporting Oktoberfest helps the city continue to produce bigger and better events, as well as improve community projects.
5.Kids Play for Free
Corte Madera’s festival is focused on maintaining a family-friendly environment that everyone can enjoy. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free to enter and can take part in tons of kid-friendly fun. Children’s activities including sack races, jump house, face painting and crafts are all free for young visitors and their families.
6. Live Entertainment
Oktoberfest wouldn’t be complete without live music—particularly the polka! Nobody knows exactly where the dance originally came from, but it is believed the word "polka" comes from the Czech word “pulka,” which means “half step.” This quick-tempo music and other hoppy beats will be live throughout the festival and free with admittance. Grand Isle Fire Brigade Street Band and local musicians Lazy Horse have provided musical entertainment at previous Oktoberfest events.
Don’t miss your chance to usher in the fall season during the annual Oktoberfest Corte Madera. This year’s event is Saturday, Oct. 10 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Old Corte Madera Square. General admission without tasting is $10 and tasting admission is $25.
There’s no better way to enjoy the local flavors, sights and sounds of Marin County than in the beautiful city of Corte Madera during this family-friendly event.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page, or download the mobile app.