By Vanessa Flores, WSMR Public AffairsSeptember 24, 2019
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. - White Sands Missile Range is celebrating Oktoberfest on Sept. 28 with beer, food, and family fun.
The event is open to the public.
WSMR has not celebrated Oktoberfest for a few years, which is why the event is set to come back in full swing.
Expect to be entertained throughout the night.
Bavaria, Germany is where the original Oktoberfest took place. The Bavarian culture and décor is front and center at traditional Oktoberfest celebrations. The WSMR Oktoberfest activities are no exception, the music, dancing, food, and decorations are as authentic as one can get in the southwest desert.
"The mountains here at WSMR and having it in a tent give our Oktoberfest an authentic feel," said Ingrid Caesar, Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, business manager.
The roots of White Sands Missile Range's Oktoberfest events date back to the 1980s. As the event grew, efforts were made to make the event feel like the original celebration.
The Fort Bliss German Airforce Schuhplattler dance group is set to perform and partake in the festivities. Their participation in the WSMR Oktoberfest dates back to 1993. Their performance includes four traditional Bavarian dances, one being the Holzhacker where they chop wood.
"This group has been active for 27 years," said Caesar. "We do traditional dances, but we also do party dances, and the audience will be included. We do dances for children to participate in as well."
The live band performing is Die Polka Schlingel, a traditional German band from Albuquerque. While they have a Bavarian-style repertoire, they also play a wide variety of party music.
This event is family-oriented, with plenty of entertainment for kids. The Kids Zone has inflatables for children of all ages, including a mechanical bull. There will also be a Hau den Lukas or high striker a strength competition to see who can ring the bell.
"It's a family gathering you do not have to drink," said Caesar. "It's about getting to know people and being with family and friends."
This Oktoberfest will offer plenty of German food, beer, and wine options. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, every ticket purchased comes with a mug. The event starts at 6 p.m. at WSMR outside of Building 1338.