This weekend, Laguna Beach is surrounded in Oktoberfest Festivals. Literally. Significantly different in nature, you’ll see large crowds at either of these popular returning events:
Oktoberfest – Dana Point
To our south, Dana Point will be hosting its annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, noon to 7:00 p.m. at Sea Terrace Park. (Sea Terrace sits just oceanside of the St. Regis Hotel.)
The event is free to all ages (21 and over wear wristbands) and even dogs are allowed on leashes.
Once inside, if you wish to drink and eat, you’ll be buying from the various vendors within the event. Your initial drink purchase is $20, which gets you a commemorative 17-ounce cup and one beer ticket. Refill your mug from that point forward for $8 per mug from a selection of 15 serious Octoberfest/Oktoberfest beers.
For those of us who don’t drink beer (me), there’s plenty of wine, soda and water to be had, too.
On the food side of Sea Terrace’s monster Oktoberfest, you’ll have more than 40 vendors to choose from, all area restaurants that will either be featuring their traditional menus (expect hamburgers, BBQ and more autumn-oriented foods) as well as German foods, from Bratwurst to Pretzels and Goulash.
Entertainment is “interactive” with German bands hosting crowd-infused dance parties, sausage tosses, beer chugging contests, and even a saukerkraut-eating contest (wow, that makes my jaw cringe just thinking about it). If you’re a hearty soul looking to compete in any of these contests, just sign up at the stage and receive instructions from there.
For a complete list of scheduled activities, see: DanaPointOktoberfest.com
Festa dell’Automno – Pelican Hill Resort
Significantly different from most Oktoberfest Festivals, this one is a serious keeper. Already begun on Thursday, Oct. 8th, Pelican Hill’s “visit to Italy by way of Newport Beach” is offering its 5th annual celebration with a number of fun events through the entire weekend.
Let’s start with the great food first:
On Friday and Saturday, Guest Chef Sebastiano Lombardi from the Michelin-starred Ristorante II Pelicano in Tuscany’s seaside town of Porto Ercole will be presenting a 3-course lunch ($80/person) and a 5-course dinner ($225/person).
At the same time, an Italian Street “Festa” will take place from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, a large harvest season celebration with Italian food and wine, live music, traditional art, bocce ball and flag performances. Admittance is $125 for adults and $55 for children under the age of 12.
During the festival, an entire (and separate) Children’s carnival (Carnevale dei Bambini) will offer Venetian mask decorating, flag waving lessons, carnival procession participation, cooking classes and a screening of Pinocchio.
On Sunday, it’s time to relax with a jazz brunch that stretches from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., priced at $100 for adults and $45 for children under the age of 12.
For a complete list of scheduled activities and special room packages, see: PelicanHill.com/Festa.
It’s a perfectly forecast weekend for both events, so get out there and enjoy … and promise me you’ll take Uber home.