Eat, drink, dance and celebrate all things German at Triangle Oktoberfest, Oct. 3-4, at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

The event, designed to celebrate community and cultural diversity, will be hosted by the Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary clubs. Proceeds from the two-day festival will benefit Alzheimer’s North Carolina and the two clubs’ ongoing charitable efforts.

“I’ve been going to Germany off and on for many years,” said Randy Bossé, event organizer and official Burgermeister. A longtime member of the Apex Sunrise Rotary, he suggested that the club stage a fall festival like those he attended overseas.

Last year’s inaugural Oktoberfest attracted hundreds of visitors, many with ties to the nearly 75 German businesses in the Triangle.

This year’s event will kick off at noon Saturday with the ceremonial tapping of the first keg. Brew fans will be able to sample at least 50 different beers, including German imports and microbrews from around the state.

Randy Bosse taps the first keg of beer to officially open last year's Oktoberfest. This year, you can choose from more than 50 different brews.

But Bossé wants to assure visitors that Oktoberfest is not just a beer festival. Costumed dancers will encourage audience participation. Contests such as the Stein Hoist will reward feats of strength. Traditional sausage and sauerkraut, authentic Bavarian pretzels and German pastries will tempt the hungry. 

Another big draw is the running of the wiener dogs. Added to last year’s lineup only about three weeks before the festival, Bossé says the race was a surprising hit.

“All of a sudden it just took off. We had 30 to 35 entries — people coming from all over. We had almost 500 people come and watch that event,” he said. This year, dachshund races will be held Saturday and Sunday.

Jeff Peterson, president of the Cary McGregor Rotary Club, also touts the event’s family focus. “This will be much different from the adult-focused events that have been at Koka Booth over the past few years,” he said.  “This is more of a traditional festival that will have something for everyone, especially families and children.

Annelore's German Bakery will provide authentic pastries and pretzels.

“Oktoberfest is a great event for our Rotary club, as it builds community awareness of just how involved we are in the charities and local causes we support,” Peterson added.  

Organizers are hoping for several thousand revelers to celebrate the harvest season and raise money for charity.

“We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Rotary, addressing Alzheimer’s disease locally and globally,” said Alice W. Watkins, executive director of Alzheimer’s North Carolina. The group’s programs support the 170,000-plus North Carolina families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


The Stein Hoist is one of several Oktoberfest contests; there will be a women's version as well. 


WHERE Koka Booth Amphitheatre

WHEN Saturday, Oct. 3, noon-10 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4, noon-6 p.m.

PRICE Saturday: $20 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under. Sunday: $15 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under. Two-day ticket: $30 for 16 and up.

TICKETS See boothamphitheatre.com, triangleoktoberfest.org or call (800) 514-3849.


•             Kinder Platz Kids Zone

•             Weiner dog races

•             German food

•             Little German Band and Dancers

•             German costume contest

•             Pretzel toss

•             Display of German cars

•             Hammerschlagen (nail-driving relay race)

•             Football viewing tent

•             Biergarten

•             Sanctioned beer-judging competition

•             Beer Stein Hoist competition

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