Oktoberfest in May? YEP! Well sort of…the 2nd Annual Big Bear Lake Maifest is the little sister to Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. The organizers of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest conceived this novel idea when they learned about numerous celebrations that occur every spring throughout Germany called Maifest. These traditional German festivals date back to the 18th century when villagers and townspeople celebrated the end of winter and the arrival of springtime. This winter, Big Bear enjoyed its best season in years with more than 80 inches of snow, and now it’s ready to welcome a long-awaited spring with open arms. In doing so, Big Bear’s Maifest will deliver a scaled-down version of Oktoberfest to revelers this Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 & 26. While Big Bear Lake Maifest is on a much smaller scale than her big sister Oktoberfest, there is one thing for certain and that is Maifest packs a big punch!
In fact, Maifest has its very own punch drink called Maibowle (a champagne-style punch). It also serves authentic German beers, which includes traditional Springfest beers called Maibock, a festive Maypole known as the Maibaum that comes adorned with coloful ribbons, and there’s a special appearance by the Die Gemütlichen Schühplattler Dancers to perform customary Maypole dances.
Plus, Big Bear Lake Maifest adds Oktoberfest favorites to the mix including sizzling bratwursts hot off the grill, homemade sauerkraut, fresh pretzels, apple strudel with warm vanilla sauce, two stages of entertainment, a live German band, log-sawing contests, stein holding competitions, and kids’ games. Attendees are encouraged to dress in a lederhosen or dirndl to heighten the spirit of the event. Those who come dressed in traditional German attire receive a gift, compliments of Warsteiner Beer. Big Bear Lake Maifest is Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 (Memorial Day Weekend), from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. The weekend festivities take place at The Big Bear Lake Convention Center, home to Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (62+), and Free for children 12 and under. To pre-purchase tickets online or for general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com, or Facebook, or call 909-585-3000.