Beer and chain saws at Fremont's Oktoberfest
Fremont Oktoberfest, Sept. 23, 24, 25, 2011, in the Fremont district of Seattle.
Seattle Times staff
If you like beer or chain-saw pumpkin carving — and doesn't that cover almost everybody? — Fremont's the center of the universe during its annual Oktoberfest this weekend. Beer in its myriad forms is the main attraction, with 40 breweries offering more than 80 microbrews, seasonal ales and German beers, along with all-ages events Saturday and Sunday.
"The beer lineup is great, the music's better than ever and since it's a benefit for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, the profits stay here to benefit the neighborhood," says Phil Megenhardt, Oktoberfest's creative director.
His insider tips include having something to eat with your beer — "most people go for the German food, but we have more choices than ever this year" — and if you're driving, parking's usually available near Gas Works Park or Leary Way with a short, scenic walk on the Burke-Gilman Trail to Fremont.
Oktoberfest Village includes pumpkin bowling, Zucchini 500 racing (involving squash with wheels attached), pumpkin carving and other activities for kids Saturday and Sunday. All ages are welcome at the Brew Ha-Ha 5K fun run/walk and Street Scramble scavenger hunt Sunday. Watch the pumpkin guts fly at the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest at 1 p.m. and the exhibition round on the main stage at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Tasting Garden admission includes mugs for 5-ounce tastes, with tokens available for additional tastes; for larger thirsts, beer by the liter, half-liter and pint is available in the Buxom Beer Garden. Other beer lounges include the Double Coverage Sports Lounge to watch the Mariners game Friday, Huskies football Saturday and the Seahawks Sunday; the Wine Lounge, for a break from beer; and lounges hosted by breweries including Pyramid, Deschutes, Blue Moon, Widmer, Fremont and St. Pauli Girl.
Special events Sunday include the Brew Ha-Ha 5K (with a head start for the Beer Belly Division and a post-race beer for runners ages 21 and older), and the Street Scramble, a race to visit as many of 30 Fremont area locations on foot as you can in 90 minutes, team or solo, competitive or casual.
Sunday is also Dogtoberfest, with events including the CityDog Magazine Cover Model Contest and dogs welcome to hang out with their humans at the 5K, the Street Scramble and the Tasting Garden.
Time: Microbrew Garden, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Oktoberfest Village: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Cost: Festival admission free; admission to the microbrew garden for ages 21 and older (ID required), $20/advance, $25/day of event with five tasting tokens; $25/advance, $30/day of event with 10 tasting tokens; $15/non-tasting admission.
Brew Ha-Ha 5K: For individuals and teams of four, costumes encouraged, Beer Belly Division (men 220 pounds-plus and women 175 pounds-plus) gets a head start; registration 8 a.m., race 10 a.m. Sunday; $25/advance, $35/day of race.
Brew Ha-Ha Street Scramble: Registration available online, day of event starting at 8 a.m. Scramble is 10:30 a.m.-noon Sunday; $5-$25/person, team or solo.
Location: Solstice Plaza, North 34th Street and Fremont Avenue North, and surrounding area, Seattle.
Getting there: Metro Transit information, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.kingcounty.gov. Street and pay-lot parking in the neighborhood. Bike Corral available, bring your own bike lock.
More information: 206-633-0422 or www.fremontoktoberfest.com.
Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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