by: JEFF MCDONALD  - The Kinder Dancers, a mix of 10 boys and 11 girls from St. Mary's Public School, rehearse for Oktoberfest. They will perform daily Thursday through Saturday between noon and 1 p.m.  With all the preparations completed for the 48th annual Oktoberfest festival in Mount Angel, all that is left to do is pray.

Pray for good weather – not too hot and definitely not too cold or rainy, said Chris Bischoff, president of the 19-member Oktoberfest board of directors.

“There are a lot of prayer warriors in town praying for good weather,” said Bischoff, thanking local religious groups in town for their efforts.

Judging by the forecast, it appears those prayers may be answered. After last week’s rains, temperatures this weekend are expected to be sunny in the ‘70s and ‘80s through Saturday with a slight chance of rain Sunday.

Other than the weather, Mount Angel’s Oktoberfest has become as reliable as a German-engineered clock or car for a good time.

The four-day event draws people from up and down the West Coast and around the U.S. to watch entertainers who come from as far as The Bronx, N.Y., and Germany, said Monica Bochsler, public relations director for the festival.

Festivities start downtown Thursday at noon with the Webertanz, or May pole dance, which features Mount Angel schoolchildren performing a variety of traditional Bavarian dances.

Opening ceremonies take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the bandstand, which is located downtown near City Hall on Charles JEFF MCDONALD  - Two of the festival's organizers, Chris Bischoff and Monica Bochsler, stand in front of the main Festhalle, or Biergarten, last week in Mount Angel.

Daily entertainment will include Donaumusikanten, a six-person group from Germany that has performed at the festival for 22 years. This year, the group requested a crosscut saw for their show, Bochsler said.

“They always put on a great show,” she said. “They keep the place hopping.”

Donaumusikanten will play throughout the festival, including daily in the Weingarten from 8:30 p.m. to close.

Oktoberfest’s headliner, Die Schlauberger, AKA “the Wise Guys,” are from The Bronx, but pull off the German act like no other, Bochsler said. The group will play Friday and Saturday in the Biergarten starting at 9 p.m. and in the Weingarten Sunday at 1 and 5:30 p.m.

“They really rock the place,” she said.

Food and drink will be in abundance at Oktoberfest with 17 different beers on tap plus about 27 different German and Northwest wines. There also will be a variety of gluten-free and nonalcoholic beers, as well as ciders, Bischoff said.

For families, the Oktoberfest event will have it all, including admission for children in the Alpinegarten until close, according to Bischoff.

“We did not want to kick the kids out with their families,” Bischoff said.

Another way kids are involved this year is through their involvement in local entertainment. A group of 21 first-graders from St. Mary’s Public School will be performing German dances each day at noon in full Bavarian dress in front of the bandstand downtown.

Kids have been practicing for many weeks running up to the activity.

Kids also will find fun and free activities at the Kindergarten at St. Mary’s Public School, which will have a mix of pony rides, face painting, juggling and magic acts performing Saturday and Sunday.

Do not forget the Wiener Dog races, either, which will be held Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Check out the festival’s website at for a complete list of activities and entertainment at the festival.

by: JEFF MCDONALD - Oktoberfest will four different venues, including Biergarten, a host of entertainment options and, of course, many beers on tap.

Oktoberfest: By the Numbers

• 48th year

• 7,500 volunteers

• 350,000 attendees

• 20 different entertainment acts

• 83 nonprofit vendors

• 54 nonprofit food booths

• $650,000-plus revenues for nonprofit food vendors

• $75,000-$125,000 annual donations to the community

• 17 beers plus gluten-free, non-alcoholic beer and ciders

• 27 wines

Admission and hours:

(Note: Entry to the Prostgarten is free. Families are welcome in the Biergarten and Weingarten but no minors after 10 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.)


• 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday

• 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday


• $4 to $9 — before 5 p.m.

• $8 to $14 — after 5 p.m.

• $8 — all day Sunday

• $25 — all-festival pass

Parking available on Academy Street (south of town), near the Pepsi plant (north of town) and on-street.

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