There’s still two German bands to go and always popular Local’s Night where everyone is welcome. Contest finals are still on tap—pun intended—along with dance groups, Unplugged evening and closing night German Spooktacular with costume contest.
Big Bear Oktoberfest is in full swing—and polka—as the event’s namesake month arrives. Five of the eight Oktoberfest weekends remain as the calendar flips with an entire month of oompa music inside, rock and roll, blues, even nationally renowned Doo Wah Riders outside. No wonder AOL, Ski Magazine, LowerFares.com and AskMen.com have all listed Big Bear Oktoberfest #1 in Southern California and in the Top 10 best festivals in the country.
2016 sees three direct-from-Germany bands at Oktoberfest and September’s was terrific. Alpenklange featured a solid horn section but the band’s highlight was a unique acappella version of “Ein Prosit” that was terrific with nice harmonies.
The second German band is New Mainfloesser Band which plays Oct. 1-2 and 7-9. The band makes its first appearance since 2013 with several of the musicians who entertained to great acclaim during three previous visits. Namely Felix Christel, a.k.a. Elvis, who dazzles audiences by singing The King’s greatest hits (think “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and others) from the dance floor or on top of tables courtesy of a wireless microphone.
The German band comes to Big Bear with nine performers and audiences are dazzled by the big sound Mainfloesser puts out with solid horn section. From Oktoberfest standards like “Edelweiss” for slow dancing to rock and roll tunes including “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams the band’s playlist is lengthy and varied.
Aalbachtal Express Band is another direct-from-Germany band making its second Oktoberfest appearance. Aalbachtal Express from Southern Germany impressed audiences during its 2014 visit and returns for two weekends Oct. 15-16 and 22-23. The 11-member band is the largest to ever play at Big Bear Oktoberfest, producing every note live and is famous for authenticity and upbeat performances.
Aalbachtal Express has entertained audiences during hundreds of performances throughout Europe. The group draws from a German music club over 100 members strong. From brass band music to contemporary chart favorites the band has played throughout festivals and Oktoberfests in not just Germany but throughout Europe, even for soldiers at NATO base in Naples.
What better way to celebrate Halloween than the German Spooktacular on Oct. 29? Close out Oktoberfest in style by wearing your best costume—the contest features expanded $1,200 cash purse.
Spooktacular stars Oktoberfest experts The Express Band, which has entertained listeners under the pine trees in Big Bear for some 30 years with polkas and waltzes, Top 40 tunes and country western. Reaching deep into its never-ending play list to provide just the right music no matter what the audience’s mood is, The Express keeps the dance floor hopping with all the Oktoberfest favorites and Top 40 and old-time rock and roll at night.
The two signature songs are “Rookie Zookie” and naturally the Chicken Dance. The former is a band favorite and a Big Bear original, with a flair of the Hokey Pokey thrown in, and on a hopping Saturday night the crowd gets into it with nary an inch of space on the floor. There’s even a special version just for the ladies.
Big Bear Oktoberfest is on Saturdays from noon-midnight (admission $19.99, $14.99 seniors, $9.99 child). Sundays are family days from noon-5:30 p.m. with children 12 and under admitted for free and adults $9, $7 seniors. Clip the coupon for FREE Sunday adult admission on page 11 of October 2016 Big Bear Today Magazine. Prepurchase tickets include priority entry.
Prepurchase tickets online at www.bigbearevents.com or call the Convention Center at (909) 585-3000.