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La Mesa, CA

Oktoberfest, other events get funding approved by La Mesa City Council

San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune
 2021-09-20

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La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis (in the I Love La Mesa t-shirt) and others celebrate 2018 Oktoberfest in La Mesa. The event is back in-person in 2021 after going virtual last year. (Karen Pearlman / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Oktoberfest in La Mesa is just around the corner, back in person after last year's virtual festival because of COVID-19 concerns.

The La Mesa City Council last week agreed to fund the event — and some others — through the city's Village Enhancement Fund, which relies on parking meter revenues to support activities in the downtown area.

Officials allocated $99,440 to support Oktoberfest, Holiday in the Village, weekly summer car shows and an advertising campaign for the village.

The Village Enhancement Fund started in September 2019 as a pilot program. It is funded from 50 percent of annual net parking revenues from meters around the downtown area. Its sole purpose is to encourage ongoing investment in the downtown village and create more entertainment opportunities for residents and families.

The program allows nonprofits and private businesses to apply for funds to finance events, promotions, programs, and advertising to benefit downtown businesses.

In addition to $30,500 earmarked for this year's Oktoberfest, the City Council also approved $40,000 to go toward this year's La Mesa Village Association Holiday in the Village, $10,000 to LMVA's weekly summer car shows in 2022 and $18,940 to a two-year advertising campaign by the LMVA that starts in 2021.

This year's 48th annual Oktoberfest will be held from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct, 1; from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2; and from noon to 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3. The event is free, but there is a charge to enter one of the three beer gardens on site.

More than 100,000 visitors typically attend the annual event.

Events on tap include three separate beer gardens with singalongs, live music, table games, corn hole and interactive games including yodeling, beer stein holding and bratwurst eating contests.

There will also be a sausage tossing contest and a Chicken Dance dance-off. There are also plans for an inflatable pretzel relay race and a "Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest" contest.

A "bier hall" on Palm Avenue will have televisions set up to watch college and NFL games as well as food service, including bratwurst, schnitzel, potato pancakes, giant pretzels and apple strudel.

Nearly 50 vendors selling food and more than 60 other vendors — from crafts to Tupperware — will be selling items along a six-block stretch including parts of La Mesa Boulevard and several side streets which will be closed off to vehicle traffic.

For the younger crowd, there will be a "German Karneval" on Palm Avenue between La Mesa Boulevard and Lemon Avenue with carnival games, temporary tattoos, bounce houses, balloon art, a bungee trampoline, caricatures, inflatable slides and a Ferris wheel. Event organizers are also planning on holding scavenger hunts.

On-leash dogs are allowed on site, with the exception of inside the beer gardens. There will be a Dackeldorf Dachshund Village with a variety of activities like dog races, a fashion show, contests and prizes for dogs of all types.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .

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