LH celebrates Oktoberfest
By Jennifer Nguyen
La Habra Journal
For the first time in the city’s history, La Habra will be having an Oktoberfest celebration later this month, joining other cities around the world in celebrating this 203-year-old tradition.
The event takes place Sept. 28 and 29 in the Imperial Promenade, located at Idaho Street and Imperial Highway. Traditional German dishes, such as sauerkraut and sausages, will be featured at the festival. For a variety and to embrace other tastes there will also be Italian, Mediterranean and Asian Fusion cuisines as well as tamales, Salvadoran pupusas and a wide range of desserts.
Admission into Oktoberfest is free, and attendees can purchase food and beverage tickets.
Alcohol will also be served at Oktoberfest, making this the first time in La Habra history that a public event is serving alcohol. In terms of drinking regulations, all IDs will be checked, and attendees can only get one beer at a time rather than multiple drinks at once.
Individuals who have consumed too much alcohol will be asked to take it easy; those who should not be consuming alcohol, on the other hand, will be asked politely to leave, said Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Sturdevant.
For convenience there will also be taxicabs available for those who need a designated driver.
To ensure event and community safety, the chamber will have private security present, both in uniform and non-uniform, monitoring everybody who comes to the festival.
“[This] also minimizes the impact on the city’s police resources,” said Capt. Jeff Kepley, operations division commander of the La Habra Police Department.
“The chamber has a reputation for properly managing their events with little or no need for police response. I am confident that this event will be the same. Of course, if the police are needed to handle an incident, we are staffed and ready to respond.”
The popular Oktoberfest attraction known as the “Chicken Dance” will also be featured at the festival. There will also be live music performances at Oktoberfest, including a German band that will be playing some traditional German music. With respect to surrounding residential areas, the music will be intentionally pointed towards commercial areas to minimize the impact of the sound. The music will also be stopped at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Attendees are also encouraged to dress up in traditional German costumes, such as a lederhosen or a dirndl, which is a traditional dress worn by women in Germany.
“We’re hoping for people to join in on that, have fun and dress up a little bit, Sturdevant said. “We might do a spontaneous contest and give things away.”
According to Sturdevant, one of the reasons the chamber will be holding this event is to help the local economy.
“That’s our mission. Our hope is that if people don’t find what they want at Oktoberfest, they can then go to the other businesses nearby, like Chipotle, Corner Bakery or the pizza places,” he said. “At a minimum, they become aware that those things are there.”
All of the proceeds from this event will go to non-profit organizations, such as the Gary Center, the La Habra Boys & Girls Club, Rosie’s Garage, Goodwill Ambassadors and the La Habra Community Collaborative. A portion of the money raised through the Chamber of Commerce from this event will be put towards scholarships as well.
For more information about the La Habra Oktoberfest, call (714) 257-5480 or visit www.LaHabraChamber.com.