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One Oktoberfest celebration is not enough for Myrtle Beach, which hosts back-to-back festival weekends to celebrate the traditional German holiday. Both the Oct. 2-3 Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest, and the Oct. 10-11 Oktoberfest on the Boardwalk feature lots of German food, beer, music and dancing, just like the official festival in Munich, Germany. But there are also plenty of fun activities for kids and adults in a family friendly setting.
The 8th Annual Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3 at Valor Park in Market Common on the south side of town. Featuring booths serving authentic German and American cuisine and craft beers and vendor tents displaying arts and crafts, visitors can experience a small taste of Germany on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, live music will be featured on the main stage, offering a mix of modern rock and pop acts and traditional German bands. German oom-pah bands and polka dancers will perform for the crowds, who can join in the fun on the dance floor and learn to do the traditional Chicken Dance and other jigs.
The aroma of German bratwursts, knockwursts, sausages and peppers sizzling on the grill wafts over the dance floor where folks are working up an appetite. Enjoy a Bavarian feast with German-style potato salad, spaetzle and other favorites from the food booths, and wash it down with a wide selection of Oktoberfest-style beers and pumpkin-spiced brews. Picky eaters and less adventurous children can enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks.
Speaking of the little ones, this Oktoberfest is designed with the little ones in mind. Visit the Pumpkin Patch for carving and decorating jack-o-lanterns and other autumn themed craft projects. Face-painting, inflatable play equipment and games are among the many entertainment options for kids, and a park with playgrounds is right across the street. There's no admission charge and free parking is available in the Market Common area. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachbeerfest.com.
If you can't make it the first Oktoberfest, you are not completely out of luck. The following weekend features the Oktoberfest on the Boulevard in downtown Myrtle Beach. Held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is transformed into a Bavarian village for two days of German food, beer, music and fun right on the downtown oceanfront.
Featuring the final round of the year-long Battle of the Bands competition, music fans are in for a treat as an event that started with more than 1,200 groups is narrowed down to one winner. Oktoberfest on the Boardwalk also include an authentic beer garden, food booths and arts and crafts vendors, the "Beach's Biggest Bavarian Boardwalk Block Party" spans three city blocks of Ocean Boulevard and the Plyler Park entertainment complex. Roving oom-pah bands, stilt-walkers, magicians are among the featured performers. There are also a car show, a sidewalk sale and lots of activities for kids at this event.
A special Kids Zone will offer fun for the whole family, especially the little ones. A petting zoo, inflatable rides, camel and pony rides and games provide a fun place to escape the crowds, while visitors can also check out all the downtown attractions, shops and restaurants. Get a bird's eye view of the festival from the top of the 190-foot Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, and take a break from the music and festivities for a walk on the beach.
Oktoberfest on the Boardwalk is free and open to the public. Saturday's schedule runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday's lineup starts at noon and wraps up at 9 p.m. For more information about the event, visit www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com.