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Oktoberfest is brewing

Montrose version of Munich-based event draws people with an approach aimed at families.

October 04, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

MONTROSE — Thousands enjoyed frothy beer, warm bratwurst, freshly popped popcorn and live music Saturday along Honolulu Avenue during the annual Oktoberfest.

Monrovia resident Pam Anderson started off the afternoon by snacking on some sweet popcorn and watching the crowd during what she said was destined to be a long night. Anderson attended last year’s rainy Oktoberfest, but she said she stayed for only a few hours.

This year, she planned to meet some friends, drink ice-cold beers, eat a traditional German dinner, including sausages and sauerkraut, and cap off the night sometime near the event’s closing time at 11 p.m.

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“The food and the people mostly draw me out here,” she said. “It’s a very community-oriented place.”

Oktoberfest is a worldwide event that originated in Germany and is generally celebrated from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 in honor of Bavarian tradition. Millions of people attend Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, Germany, every year.

Montrose has been celebrating Oktoberfest for 32 years.

“It’s just a one-of-a-kind event,” said Mike Perry, vice president of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.

Oktoberfest also brings business to shops on Honolulu Avenue.

Revelation Tops was bustling with new customers during the street fair.

“My fitting rooms have been full,” store co-owner Mary Dawson said. “I have been running around back and forth all day.”

Santa Clarita residents Harry and Carolyn Tamme wanted to demonstrated the importance of celebrating Oktoberfest, so they wore traditional Bavarian clothing.

They bought their outfits, a dirndl and lederhosen, during a trip to Germany.

The couple have attended the Montrose festival the past few years.

Unlike other Oktoberfest events, which often resemble traditional beer gardens, the Montrose event is more family-oriented, Harry Tamme said.

Kids played carnival games, slid down an inflatable slide and rode a Ferris wheel while groups of friends and family checked out clothing, artwork and accessories sold at several vendor booths.

Vendor Wayne Greenberg, a Burbank resident, sketched portraits for patrons and their dogs.

Greenberg has worked at other chamber events, including the Montrose Art Walk.

Oktoberfest, he said, allows for interaction with the public because he gets to draw people instead of selling pre-made art pieces.

He sold his on-the-spot sketches for $10 each, a price set by the chamber.

Greenberg planned to also eat some sausages and drink some brews.

“The paintings might get a little but more relaxed,” he said of drawing after a few drinks. “It’s Oktoberfest. You have to celebrate Oktoberfest.”


 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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