Pull up your lederhosen and lift your stein. Tonight, Lodi’s American Legion will transform into a German hub of lively ladies and gents celebrating a longtime tradition revolving around culture, beer, bratwurst and music.
Lodi Oktoberfest, hosted by Lodi Tokay-Rotary, kicks off tonight at 5 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 320 N. Washington St. The celebration will start with the tapping of the keg at 6 p.m.
Dress like the most festive of Oktoberfest-goers, and prepare to dance until midnight. The Gruber Family band will play from 5 to 10 p.m., performing traditional Bavarian music. Ten members of The Stammtisch El Dorado Group, part of The Vienna Rhythm, will dance throughout the evening.
“They’ve really added a touch of magic to the whole thing,” said Mike Bennett, who will is heading the German eats for the evening.
For those ready to party late, a deejay will join the festivities and offer classic rock favorites late in the evening during the after party.
Oktoberfest is all about the beer. Rotary member JoEllen Flemmer says the favorite is always Spaten German beer, which is available on tap, including Oktoberfest variety and a lighter lager.
To celebrate the beer even more, partiers can test their skills at a 9:30 p.m. beer pong tournament. Bennett says there will also be shots of Jagermeister and apple schnapps.
But Oktoberfest is all about the food: That German comfort food. LaVerne Walth, owner of Village Coffee Shop, will create her yearly favorite cheese buttons. Guests will also be able to indulge in hot German potato salad, traditional bratwurst by Lakewood Meats and fresh-baked pretzels on a stick. For the first time, Lodi Oktoberfest will offer chicken schnitzel and braised ham hocks. That is, until they sell out — which they expect.