Raise a glass (or a wurst) to the sixth annual Berthoud Oktoberfest

The Chalet Dancers entertain Oktoberfesters with a traditional dance during the fifth annual Berthoud Oktoberfest in Fickel Park. Surveyor file photo

The Chalet Dancers entertain Oktoberfesters with a traditional dance during the fifth annual Berthoud Oktoberfest in Fickel Park.
Surveyor file photo

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

Don your dirndl or lederhosen for Berthoud’s sixth annual Oktoberfest at Fickel Park on Sat., Oct. 1. The festival begins at 11 a.m. with the tapping of the keg by Berthoud Mayor Steve Mulvihill, and the fun continues through 6 p.m.

Musical guest Dick Zavodny Polka Band kicks off the day with Zavodny’s world-class button accordion playing. The band is scheduled to play through 1:25 p.m.

Always a crowd favorite, the pretzel-eating contest kicks off at 2:25 p.m. with kindergarten through third-grade contestants. Fourth and fifth graders will compete at 2:55 p.m. Participants will race to eat a powdered-sugar pretzel off a string using nothing but their faces. It’s sure to be a treat for the audience as well as the contestants. Pre-registration is required for this event, which will be capped at 16 kids per age group, so sign your child up early at the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) booth.

Another fan favorite, back for 2016, is the Chalet Dancers, a traditional German dance group out of Castle Rock.

“The Chalet Dancers ‘Wood Chop Dance’ is an audience favorite every year, and not to be missed,” said Deanne Mulvihill, executive director for the BACC. The group will perform at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Last year the BACC introduced the 50/50 split-the-cash drawing, and the winner walked away with $380. Tickets for this year’s event will be available for $5 a piece or $20 for four at the chamber booth. The winner will be selected at 5:30 p.m. and will receive half the cash collected from ticket sales on the spot. The other 50 percent will support the chamber. Participants need not be present to win.

German food vendors will be set up on Seventh Street, and new booths, including American and kid-friendly fare, along with German desserts, will be available near the tennis courts. City Star Brewing, Berthoud Brewing, and Probst Beer will be on the scene pouring pints, and wine will also be available.

New this year, maps featuring a list of kid-friendly vendors will be available at the chamber booth. In addition, the Berthoud Fire Department will host kids’ activities throughout the day.

At 4 p.m. the winners of the Dirndl/Lederhosen Contests in the child and adult categories will be determined and prizes will be awarded.

“We really encourage everyone to come dressed up and ready to participate,” said Mulvihill. Contestants must be present at the time of the competition to win.

The chamber will be in a new, more visible and accessible location this year, under the long white tent. The chamber will be located under the sidewalk side of the tent, with token sales taking the opposite side, nearest the food and beer.

To request more information or purchase tickets for the 50/50 drawing in advance, contact the BACC at 970-532-4200, or stop by 428 Mountain Ave. in Berthoud.