ENCINITAS — As many as 15,000 attendees of the 27th annual Encinitas Oktoberfest on Sept. 24 celebrated the city’s German heritage.
The Munich-style celebration, hosted by the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, had all the staples of Oktoberfest — a kickoff parade, nearly 200 craft booths, traditional German food, beverages, musicians and dancers — plus some new twists, including the debut of the Van & Gram Mobile Photo Booth, a Volkswagen bus turned photo booth.
The pet-friendly event even offered pet adoptions.
Buskers performing traditional Bavarian music were peppered along the stretch of Mountain Vista Drive and performed on the event’s main stage. In addition to German beers, new to the drink menu this year were hard cider and hard ginger beer.
In addition to the new attractions, the Encinitas Chamber worked with the Rob Machado Foundation, an organization that offers youth-focused environmental education programs, to boost sustainability at Oktoberfest. The team added water stations to reduce single-use plastic water bottles and worked with Magnum Electric Bikes to create a bike valet to promote cycling over driving.
Carol Knight, the chamber’s community relations and membership director, said the event highlights the city’s many assets.
“We had a 90-year-old dancing and then we had kids in strollers,” Knight said.
A pair of volunteers from the Mission Valley neighborhood in San Diego who had never been to Encinitas were introduced to the city through the event.
“They were like, ‘We love this community, everybody is so kind,’” Knight said.
All photos by Paul Nestor