Lodi’s Largest Annual Oktoberfest Celebration
BEER. FOOD. DANCING. GAMES.
Saturday, October 21, 2023 – 4:30 to 9:30pm
Lodi’s longest continuing Oktoberfest has been hosted by the Lodi Tokay Rotary every year since 2006.
You’ll come for the beer and the German food and stay to enjoy the German band and join the Oktoberfest games. We pour American and German beers at Oktoberfest and cook up a storm of German-Dakota dishes such as chicken schnitzel, bratwurst, pickled red cabbage, sauerkraut, cheese buttons and hot German potato salad.
The Gruber Family Band plays a raucous mix of traditional German folk music and pop tunes. The highlight of their performance is a contest to see who can hold one big stein of beer at arm’s length the longest. Herren und Damen are all welcome to show us your stuff. The winners will receive an authentic German Beer Mug. If the crowd gets into it, there might even be a yodeling contest.
Lodi’s Rotary Clubs banded together thirteen years ago to revive Oktoberfest, which had been celebrated on and off for a number of years. We were celebrating Lodi’s German heritage and the 100th year anniversary of the founding of Lodi’s city government.
Now Oktoberfest is an annual tradition. And remember — you don’t have to be German to have fun at Oktoberfest.
WHAT TO EXPECT
What do these tickets include?
Entrance into the American Legion Hall, fully decorated to celebrate the Oktoberfest.
The re-enactment of opening of the first beer keg and the official opening of the Lodi Oktoberfest.
Enjoy the festive Oktoberfest music of the Gruber Family Band. Dance, sing-along, or just drink a traditional beer and listen to some great German music.
Feats of strength with German beer stein holding contest.
Access to the outside beer garden.
All proceeds will be used to support community projects, along with international humanitarian projects.
Smoked Bratwurst, grilled and simmered in beer or Chicken Schnitzel, hand breaded and served with a wine, butter, and caper sauce.
Hot German Potato salad with toasted breadcrumb topping.
Fresh made sweet and sour red cabbage.
Genova French rolls and butter
History of Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest tradition started in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities in the fields in front of the city gates. After such a spectacular party, the happy couple decided that that the same type of festival should be continued annually.
As the Oktoberfest continued through the years, party-goers were amply entertained by the tree climbing competitions, wheel barrow and sack races, mush eating contests, barrel rolling races, and goose chases. By 1870s, mechanical rides were an expanding feature of the festival and in 1908, the festival boasted Germany's first roller coaster. Makeshift beer stands began cropping up, and their number increased steadily until they were eventually replaced by beer halls in 1896. The beer halls, like the beer tents of today, were sponsored by the local breweries.
History of Oktoberfest Beer
Oktoberfest beer is of a variety called Märzen. Darker and stronger than traditional beer, Märzen contains up to 6% alcohol, is bottom-fermented, and is lagered for at least 30 days. Before the advent of modern refrigeration techniques, this type of beer was brewed in March (as its name suggests) and allowed to age through the summer, so that it was ready to drink by late summer or early fall. Like all German beer, the Oktoberfest beer is brewed according to strict German standards (called the Reinheitsgebot and in effect since 1516) that precisely define the four ingredients allowed in the brewing of beer: barley, hops, malt, and yeast.
Oktoberfest Doors Open
Food Will Be Served
With Purchase of a Meal Ticket!
by The Gruber Family Band
5:00 - 10:00 PM
Re-enactment of the First Beer Keg Opening
by the Mayor of Lodi
Feats of Strength Competition
German Beer Stein Holding Contest
Sometime During the Evening
Dancers will perform traditional style folk dance.
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Driven by Lodi Tokay Rotary Club
The Lodi Craft Beer Festival is the brainchild of the Lodi Tokay Rotary Club, with the vision to create a first-class festival of craft brewers within the Northern California area, accompanied by some of the best food vendors in the Lodi area. The Lodi Tokay Rotary Club is hosting the event with 100% of the proceeds going to the ongoing preservation of Lodi Lake and local and international charities.