Enjoy beers, brats and more at Brecktoberfest this weekend
2nd annual Oktober-Feast joins new Fall Family Fair
Breckenridge is trying to bring back its standard Oktoberfest as much as possible; however, the traditional beer and German food will be packaged in a slightly different format with the coronavirus pandemic still present. Instead of an open Main Street festival, this weekend’s Brecktoberfest is a ticketed affair taking place inside of the Riverwalk Center and on the venue’s lawn.
Similar to the Breckenridge Wine Classic, dispersed vendors and tables will give attendees plenty of room to enjoy food and drinks throughout the area. The Riverwalk Center will have seating inside as well as music and festive dancing at the stage.
Austyn Dineen, former spokesperson for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, said organizers hope the Main Street festival will return in 2022. Yet, she believes there is an audience for both events.
“(Brecktoberfest) is a good opportunity for us to try something different,” Dineen said. “… This could be something that could be added to the Oktoberfest celebration in Breckenridge. It could be a little bit more of a smaller celebration for people who are looking for that kind of experience.”
Returning is the brewmaster dinner from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23. After taking 2020 off, Beaver Run Resort and Breckenridge Brewery are back for a culinary experience that kicks off Brecktoberfest with five paired courses. The $90 tickets are still available at BeaverRun.com.
Also making a comeback is the second annual Oktober-Feast. What was the modified, alternative festival last year — and a huge hit according to Dineen — is now another opportunity for people to try special dishes all over town. Though smaller in scope this year, participating restaurants include Apres Handcraft Libations, Little Bar & Grilled, Breckenridge Distillery and more.
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. Sept. 24-26
Where: Inside and on the lawn of the Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: $50 per session. Visit GoBreck.com to purchase.
Fall Family Fair
When: 1-6 p.m. Sept. 24-26
Where: Breckenridge Creative Arts District campus
Modis will offer a smoked pork chop and Brussels sprouts with a fig glaze, roasted red potatoes and apples sautéed in bacon fat; Kenosha will serve up a wild boar bratwurst platter and pumpkin spice cake; Soupz On will ladle out specials like beer cheese soup and Bavarian lentil soup while I Scream Gelato will have flavors such as butter beer, pumpkin and chocolate or caramel pretzel.
Yet the main attraction is the festivities at the Riverwalk Center. Guests pick a three-hour, morning or evening session on a designated day to imbibe seasonal offerings from Breckenridge Brewery and New Belgium Brewing Co.
A half-liter stein designed by Stefan Bast — who has designed the mugs regularly since 2013 — two beer tokens good for 16-ounce pours, stein-holding competitions and traditional German hammer games are included in the $50 admission. Wine and cocktails from the Riverwalk’s bar, as well as food and additional $6 beer tokens, are available to purchase freely.
Gyros Delish, Climax Jerky and Andy’s Kitchen are some of the participating food vendors.
“It’s definitely going to be the food you have come to expect at Oktoberfest,” Dineen said.
More lawn games and fun can be had at the new Family Fall Fair on the Arts District campus. The free event gives families a chance to escape the busier side of Brecktoberfest — which is limited to those 21 and older — with crafts centered on pumpkins and Alpine hats.
Breckenridge Music’s mobile AirStage will be at the Family Fall Fair to provide family-friendly music. DJ DC and accordionists Mike and Margie Aman will perform Friday in the district. Polka Folka, The Polkanauts and DJ DC play Saturday. DJ DC and The Polkanauts return Sunday joined by The Pine Beatles. The bands, in addition to Those Austrian Guys, are scheduled to perform at the Riverwalk Center during Brecktoberfest, too.
Looking for help to burn off all the culinary calories from Brecktoberfest? Then check out Breckenridge Recreation Center’s weekend events. The 20th annual 5K takes place from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Saturday. Participation is limited to 200 runners, and the event starts in waves. It costs $30 for ages 10-17 and $50 for those 18 and older. There is no same-day registration. Visit BreckenridgeRecreation.com to register.
The 5K will share the trails with the sixth annual Rob Millisor Heart Health Walk, which is another exercise option for those looking for a more leisurely stroll. The walk was established in 2016 to honor Breckenridge Grand Vacations co-owner and developer Rob Millisor, who died from a heart attack. This weekend is The Summit Foundation’s 33rd annual golf tournament, presented by Breckenridge Grand Vacations, as well.
Also happening is the Oktoberfest hockey tournament at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena from Friday through Sunday. The cost is $950 per team and online registration is closed, but teams can register the day of the tournament if there are still spaces.
Friday evening and all of Saturday are sold out, but there are still tickets set aside for local Summit County residents. People can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order. A local ID must be presented at will call the day of the event to gain access.
All attendees, local or otherwise, must also present proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test since Brecktoberfest occurs at the Riverwalk Center, which is managed by Breckenridge Creative Arts. Refunds are available for any ticket holder who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, has been exposed to COVID-19 or is unable to meet the vaccination requirements. In conjunction with downsizing the event — Dineen said Brecktoberfest is roughly 6,000 people versus the estimated more than 15,000 during the regular Oktoberfest — the policy aims to keep the weekend safe and capacity-controlled.
“We’re still in unprecedented times, for sure,” Dineen said.
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