Oktoberfest promises 3 days of family fun

   What started as a beer and wine festival to celebrate what historically is harvest season has turned into a three-day family affair with authentic German music, live entertainment, a brat eating contest, chicken bingo and chicken dancing, carnival rides and games, a pumpkin patch, a car show, a pumpkin recipe contest, a kids coloring contest and, of course, a beer and wine garden.

   Sponsored by Ramona Chamber of Commerce, the Fifth Annual Oktoberfest will be in the Ramona Outdoor Community Center (ROCC) off Fifth Street and Aqua Lane from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

   Admission is free the three days, and parking is free on Friday. Parking is $5 per vehicle on Saturday and Sunday, with the money going to Ramona nonprofit organizations whose volunteers help with parking.

   Next to Oktoberfest activities will be the Valley of the Sun Fainting Goat Show.

   Oktoberfest fun will start with Opening Ceremonies by a color guard and Honorary Mayor Sharon Davis at 5 p.m. on Friday. Live entertainment from Ramona-based bands will continue until 10 p.m., with the Ramona Town Hall Brass Band scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m., The Rumblers from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and The Baja Blues Boys from 9 to 10 p.m.

   Food, drink, the pumpkin patch, vendors, and carnival rides and games will take place throughout the three-day event. Coupon books for carnival rides are available in advance and offer with up to 75 percent discount on the rides. The discount books are available in the chamber office, Jewelry World and Albertsons through Thursday, Oct. 15, and at the chamber mixer at Ramona Disposal Service from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15.

   Gates open Saturday at 10 a.m., with games, contests and drawing wheel opportunities throughout the day. Chicken bingo will start at 1 p.m., chicken dance contest at 2 p.m., brat eating contest at 3 p.m. and pumpkin eating cook-off judging at 4 p.m.

Live entertainment on Saturday will be by Earl Flores & The Holy Toledo Band from 4 to 6 p.m. and The Bavarian Beer Garden Band from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

   On Sunday, the gates open and activities begin at 11 a.m. The car show will be from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with car show winners announced at 2:30 p.m..

The Edelweiss Oktoberfest Band will entertain from 1 to 4 p.m.

   Additional details about the weekend festivities are available from the chamber at 789-1311 or www.ramonachamber.com and from Charlotte Jensen, event chair, at 760-445-8571.

   
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