CARLSBAD — For 40 years, Carlsbad’s Rotary clubs have been hosting their annual Oktoberfest.
And this year is no different as the Rotary Club of Carlsbad and Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club will host the 40th annual Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest from noon to 8 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the Strawberry Fields, 1050 Cannon Road.
This year’s festivities are being billed as the clubs’ “biggest ever event,” which includes authentic German meals from Tip Top Meats, activities for adults and kids, live German music, a beer garden (or Biergarten) and more.
Rachael Hopkins, the evening club’s marketing chairwoman, said Oktoberfest is family-friendly and will be able to take advantage of all the offerings at the Strawberry Fields. Proceeds from the event go to charities in the Carlsbad area Rotary supports.
Tickets are $5 to enter the Strawberry Fields and varying prices for food and drinks at Oktoberfest.
“It’s the biggest event we do,” Hopkins said. “It’s an activity for families and everybody in the community. Everybody can come out and have a good time.”
Dave Tweedy, president of the evening club, said the Strawberry Fields adds more space and activities, while Hopkins said the transition adds more of a “fall feel” for Oktoberfest.
Tweedy said coming out of the shutdowns from the pandemic, the clubs are optimistic about hosting their second event since 2020. While last year was a success, he said this year has a more considerable expectation with the longevity of Oktoberfest plus the adding the popular Strawberry Fields, which draws visitors from all over the region and Southern California.
As for activities, those include a petting zoo, a kid’s zone, magic and science performances, corn and haunted mazes, and pumpkin carving and decorating. Also, the Bavarian Biergarten will host a Stein-holding competition, plus musical hut spiel (German musical chairs) and Schnitzelbank (short rhyming verse songs). Tucked away in the corn maze is the speakeasy, which also acts as a fundraiser for the clubs.
“We did have a successful event last year, and we hope it grows, and people get more comfortable, Tweedy said. “It fills up our philanthropy budget and helps us do our work in the community we’ve been doing for so long. This year is to get our numbers back to what we’re used to in prior years.”
The Rotary clubs are community-service-driven organizations supporting local and international charities and projects.
The two clubs have raised more than $1.5 million over the years, with money going to local schools, youth and adult services, senior, military and veteran programs, and scholarships for college or trade school students.