Oktoberfest is breaking out all over Jacksonville over the next few weeks. This week brings the Second Annual Art Walk Oktoberfest (see article here) and the first Oktoberfest at Memorial Park put on by the Memorial Park Association (MPA). The event, which takes place October 3 and 4, is being put on to help raise the last $40,000 of $200,000 needed to obtain matching funds from the city for restoration of the 90-year-old park.
Annually MPA receives donations averaging $45,000, 95% of that income is spent on park maintenance, promoting the park and improvements to supplement city efforts. MPA pays for additional mowing, tree trimming, debris removal, fertilizing and planting of new shrubs and annuals. MPA board members collectively donate in excess of 500 hours working in the park and promoting MPA’s mission of preserving and enhancing this gem.
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the 6-acre park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers landscaping company and dedicated on Christmas Day 1924. The park was created to honor the more than 1,200 casualties Florida suffered during World War I.
Friday night, October 3, is VIP night at the festival. For a donation of $125 guests receive a stein, three beers, a pretzel and all you can eat German food including vegetarian options. In addition, VIP guests can return to the festivities the next day at no additional charge and stein fills for just $5. VIP tickets are only available to MPA members at the association’s website. But, the public is encouraged join. For VIP ticket and membership information visit: http://memparkjax.org/event/2014-oktoberfest-vip-preview-party-friday-october-3rd/.
If VIP is not your thing, or in your budget, general admission tickets for Saturday, October 4 are $40 each and entitle guests to a souvenir Oktoberfest stein, one free stein fill, a giant pretzel and live German music.
Returning to Jacksonville once again for this event is Oompah band The Swinging Bavarians. The traditionally dressed band, made up of musicians mostly from the same family, provide rousing German music, yodeling, toasts, slap dancing and authentic ambiance. Other entertainment will include the crowning of the King and Queen of Oktoberfest, stein holding contests and other traditional German games.
Beer at the event will be provided by local brewers Intuition Ale Works, Aardwolf Brewing Company and Veterans United Craft Brewery.
Food will be plentiful due to a partnership with the Jax Truckies food truck group. Trucks that are expected to be in attendance include: Bold City Pops, Delish Kebabs, Jalapeno Truck, Son of a Butcher and Super Food Truck. Each food truck has committed to creating and serving at least one German dish for the event.
General admission tickets for the event are $40 at the gate or, if purchased online before the date of the event, $35. General admission tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-oktoberfest-in-memorial-park-tickets-12939112233.
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