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Oktoberfest offers Family fun

Children decorate pumpkins at last year’s Fort Rucker Oktoberfest. This year’s festival will be held Sept. 26 from 4:30-9:30 p.m. on the festival fields. (File photo)

Children decorate pumpkins at last year’s Fort Rucker Oktoberfest. This year’s festival will be held Sept. 26 from 4:30-9:30 p.m. on the festival fields. (File photo)

Published: September 18, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 18, 2014) -- Fort Rucker is ringing in the fall season by celebrating German culture with a seasonal favorite.

The installation’s 12th annual Oktoberfest returns to the Fort Rucker Festival Fields Sept. 26 from 4:30-9:30 p.m., and promises to get people in the fall spirit as they don their lederhosen and take advantage of all the festival has to offer, according to Brian Jackson, Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation program manager.

“This event has drawn up to 5,000 patrons in the past and is an extremely popular, fun-filled event for all Families, on and off post,” he said, adding that Oktoberfest is one of Fort Rucker’s most anticipated events of the year.

The event is open to the public and admission is free, and there will be plenty of food and cold beverages available for purchase, including bratwurst and schnitzel, as well as a myriad of activities for people to participate in, said the program manager.

The festival will kick off with a ceremonial keg tapping under the main festival tent and people can enjoy live music throughout the event performed by Sonnenschein Express, a popular German band, who is returning for the seventh consecutive year to entertain festivalgoers with the sounds from the Alpine region to include ringing cowbells, horns and yodeling.

There will also be a vintage Volkswagen car show, Show ‘n Shine, during which people can observe and inquire about different cars throughout the years.

Parents can get their kids involved with a variety of games, rides and activities for all ages, including a pumpkin patch where patrons can purchase a pumpkin to decorate, and various craft activities and inflatables.

This event is just one way that Fort Rucker and DFMWR gives back to its community, and does so by providing education about the nation, as well as the Army’s diversity.

“We realize that our military members are familiar with other cultures … and we really enjoy having a German theme with this program that is very similar to the traditional Oktoberfest overseas,” said Jackson. “A lot of our military members, as well as patrons off post, are familiar with German culture, so it was natural to plan an event that is well-received by our community.

“These types of programs also provide knowledge and cultural background for those that aren’t familiar with other countries and traditions,” he continued. “This event will see patrons dressed up in full-out lederhosen and the whole nine yards.”

Patrons should remember that some items are prohibited at Oktoberfest, including coolers, pets, glass containers, weapons of any kind, bicycles, scooters, rollerblades, skateboards and backpacks, with the exception of medical and baby care items, said Jackson, adding that the restrictions are for the safety of all patrons.

“Come out and enjoy this fantastic event with us,” said the program manager. “Whether you have or haven’t attended Oktoberfest, you won’t be disappointed.  Come out, relax, and enjoy a great time with Family and friends.”

Although admission to the event is free, there will be automated teller machines available on site for people to purchase food, refreshments and merchandise.

This article was originally published at

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