Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest
Courtesy of Moving To Highlands Ranch.com
Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest took place this past weekend. Turnout was great! The event took place at Town Center and contrary to popular belief about a beer festival, Highlands Ranch has done a fantastic job turning this into a family event. I can say unequivocally that Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest is a "don't miss" annual event. We witnessed a lot of people having fun and there were no fights or displays of public drunkenness that we observed between 5 PM - 10 PM.
BEER & MUSIC
Let's start with the obvious...beer. Paulaner USA was the beer sponsor. You had a choice of Pils, Weizen, Hefeweizen, and of course, Oktoberfest. A standard cup was $5.00 with options of getting a pint for $8.00 and a stein for $15.00 (each with a souveneir glass). Despite having four beer stations, there were lines for beer (maybe a 5 min wait) during peak hours. At noon, they held a ceremonial "tapping of the keg" and free samples for those in attendance. There was also a retailer selling handcrafted commemorative Oktoberfest steins and mugs.
There was live music on stage all day long. It started out with more traditional German music throughout the day leading up to rock music starting at 6 PM. The grassy lawn in the center of town square provided a great picnic option for eating and listing to the tunes. Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) also did a great job of bringing in lots of picnic tables and umbrellas. Initially I was concerned there would no place to sit and eat but that wasn't the case.
Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest was catered by Helga's German Restaurant & Deli and Bernie's Hot Dogs. The menu consisted of smoked, veal or beer brats, sauerkraut, potatoe salad, spatzle, vienna all beef hot dogs, giant pretzels, smoked ham hocks, apple strudel and a few other tasty items. I had a beer brat with sauerkraut and both were outstanding! Kone Ice was serving up shaved ice for the kids and another vendor had lots of smoked and salted nuts. The food line at Helga's was a bit long, however it moved fast and was worth the wait.
FOR THE KIDS
The kids had a fair amount of things to do if they could stand the lines. At 3 PM, they had the weiner dog races. For play, there was the giant slide, bounce house, face painting, human slingshot and, in my opinion the biggest hit, jousting! The kids would stand on a soft inflatable pedastal with a giant nerf-like jousting pole. Wearing a padded helmet, they would swing the jousting pole and try to knock the other competitor off the pedastal. The kids loved it and all activities were priced at $1.00.
To top off a great day, Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest launched a spectacular fireworks show at 9:30 PM. This was the fireworks show we were supposed to witness on the 4th of July but was canceled due to stage 1 fire restrictions.
We took the entire family and the kids had a blast. Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest was a great way to usher in Fall. It's really nice to be part of a city that feels more like a small town.
To find out more about the great city of Highlands Ranch, please see all my other blog posts.