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Oktoberfest at the Big Bear Convention Center

Oktoberfest Like a Local

Big Bear Lake’s Oktoberfest is a local tradition spanning more than forty years. Hans Bandow and his family originally brought the tradition to Big Bear.

What started in a tent, quickly grew into its own building, the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Hans had the architect design a building based on the early Oktoberfest tents from Germany.

Log Sawing Contest

The event organizers provide an entertainment mix of German bands and progressive Los Angeles rock bands. The dancing is punctuated with old fashioned log sawing contests, stein holding for men and women, and pretzel eating for the kids.

Whether you come for the chicken dance or to sample the fine German draft beer, there are a few things you’ll want to know!

  • Parking and Entrance –Parking is plentiful during the day, but can get pretty crowded on Saturday nights. The entrance to the party is on the northwest gate (right side of main entrance). If you make reservations, you can stroll past this line of people.
  • Family Friendly – The best time for children to Oktoberfest is during the day, before 6PM. There’s a petting zoo with llamas, rabbits, goats and pigs. Sunday tends to be a quieter day and the kids can run all over.
  • Beer and Food Lines – All lines require a ticket (there is one outside cash line). There’s an ATM on the premises. You can purchase beer and food in lines outside, which is usually quicker than inside. Inside, you’ll have to purchase beer tickets and then redeem them at the bar or food line.

Surrounding the building are tiny cabins with vendors, food and games. Our fall weather can be warm and sunny, making the patio a great place to hang out.

This year’s Oktoberfest runs every weekend from September 17 through October 29th. This fall, try the world’s highest altitude Bavarian Beer Party.


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