Cheers, prost, salud: Celebrate the season with Frisco Fall Fest and Breckenridge Oktoberfest
FRISCO — Raise a glass to the change in seasons. For three days, the towns of Frisco and Breckenridge will host street parties in honor of the arrival of fall. Guests can expect lots of live music, food, drinks and fun.
Frisco Fall Fest
Since 2012, the Frisco Fall Fest has been the autumnal activity of choice for locals and visitors in town. The annual event features food and drink, local art, music and rustic furniture.
A major draw is the Flavors of Frisco, a tent set up on Main Street that has 12 Frisco restaurants selling delicious small plates ranging from $2–$6. Now in its sixth year, restaurants like Ein Prosit will serve sausage and pretzels, Bagalis will roast a whole pig for tacos, and Next Page Books and Nosh will ladle out butternut squash soup and chili from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.
Also Saturday, an art show and family-friendly activities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Unlike August’s Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival, this show has work from only local artists and is more affordable. As attendees peruse the pieces, they can enjoy music from Timber! from noon to 2 p.m. and Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore from 3-5 p.m.
“It’s much more attainable for the normal person to either start or embellish their art collection,” said Nora Gilbertson, Frisco’s special event manager. “If you kind of have some intimidation around that, this is a great place to come check it out, support a local artist and start your art collection.”
The festival was actually called BeetleFest back in 2008 but changed when the town decided the educational theme of pine beetles wasn’t entirely relevant anymore. It used to feature a 4K race, a lumberjack show, chain saw raffle and smashing a Volkswagen Beetle with a bat.
What hasn’t changed, however, is benefitting Friends of the Dillon Ranger District via beverage sales and showcasing furniture made from beetle-killed pine. On tap are Germany’s Ayinger, Hofbräu and Weihanstephan beers along Coyote Gold margaritas while Mountain Woodworks, Western Log Creations, Alpine Furniture Co. are displaying their handcrafted creations.
“We just have a different vibe than an Oktoberfest,” Gilbertson said. It’s a little more family friendly, a little calmer, a little more tranquil, but you can still come out, have a good time, great food and support your local community.”
Though the Flavors of Frisco portion of the festival ends Saturday evening, the fun continues Sunday, Sept. 8, with the second and final day of the art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you don’t spend all of your tickets on Saturday, don’t worry. Participating restaurants still will accept them throughout the weekend.
If that isn’t enough to sate your appetite for lederhosen, then be sure to make time for the three-day Breckenridge Oktoberfest from Sept. 6-8. The 25th annual festival stretches from Lincoln Avenue south to Jefferson Avenue, filling the streets with food, music, games and other revelry.
The fun begins at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, with a ceremonial keg tapping at Blue River Plaza. The party continues until 6, with performances by Those Austrian Guys from 2-5 at the plaza’s north stage and Pine Beatles from 2-5 on the south stage near Ollie’s Pub & Grub. Those Austrian Guys return to the stage at 11 a.m. Saturday as the Polkanauts perform at 2 p.m. on the south stage. The music will continue at 11 a.m. Sunday with the Summit Concert Band on the north stage and Pokanauts to the south while Those Austrian Guys play at 12:30 p.m. at the north stage.
Friday night at 6:30 is also the time to enjoy the multicourse brewmaster dinner — which sold out in early June — at Sauce on the Maggie. Taking over the roughly 150-seat restaurant, diners will enjoy an antipasto course paired with Paulaner Lager or Leonard Kreusch Sapphire Riesling, a beer cheese soup paired with Paulaner Hefe-Weizen or Leonard Kreusch Sapphire Riesling, pork schnitzel and spaetzle mac and cheese paired with Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn or Leonard Kreusch Estate Gewurtztraminer, short ribs and scalloped potatoes paired with Paulaner Salvator or Pflücken Semidry Riesling and, for dessert, apple strudel paired with Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen or Leonard Kreusch Piesporter Michelsberg Spatlese.
The märzen name comes from “March,” the time when the beer was historically brewed to be ready for quaffing at Oktoberfest. And though the festival name also originates from a month, Oktoberfest is traditionally celebrated mid to late September and lasts until early October.
Those Paulaner beers, poured from an estimated 600 kegs, can be acquired with $6 tokens. One token fills a 16-ounce commemorative stein while two are required to top off the 32-ounce stein.
New this year is the option to pick up a preordered stein in advance. Or on Friday, steins can be picked up starting at 1 p.m. at the corner of Main Street and Adams Avenue while the time is bumped up to 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. After 2 p.m. Sunday, all preordered steins that haven’t been picked up will be sold to the public.
In addition to the earlier pickup time, to cut down on lines at the bar Paulaner will also bring 16-ounce cans of its brews that cost the same as the draft versions. Organizers hope it will increase the festival’s sustainability and waste diversion efforts.
“We’re really excited about that, and we need to be mindful of the impact we’re making, and I think this year we’re actually going to deliver on that,” said Casey Willis, director of events with the Breckenridge Tourism Office.
Naturally, there will be German fare to eat with the German beer. Both local restaurants and vendors will serve food like schnitzel and sausages alongside ones from beyond Colorado’s borders. If someone wishes for a plate of food other than 5th Avenue Grill’s goulash or Andy’s Kitchen spaetzel, they can grab lobster rolls from Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria and pizza from Windy City Pizza and Pub. There will be 41 food vendors that mainly take cash, with prices ranging from $6-$12.
“The amount of pretzels we go through, in just that weekend, is over 3,500,” Willis said.
Though leashed dogs are allowed at Frisco’s Fall Fest, pets are not permitted at Breckenridge Oktoberfest due to the food and beverage sales. Kids, however, are more than welcome.
The Riverwalk Center — the location for the annual ski swap benefiting Team Summit happening concurrently — will have snow cones, a bounce house, drum circle, face painters and other activities from local nonprofits hosting yard games.
“You can certainly celebrate Oktoberfest at a young age,” Willis said.
For those who want to work off their calories, there are three sporting event options. The Stephen C. West Ice Area will host its annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament, which has been happening since 2012, throughout the weekend while Saturday will be the day for the 18th annual Oktoberfest 5K. New this year is a tennis tournament occurring at the Breckenridge Tennis Center from Friday through Sunday.
Visit GoBreck.com for a complete festival schedule, to order steins, for information on how to volunteer and other details.
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