It is the first weekend of October, which means it’s time to celebrate autumn’s arrival with great German fare, live music and plenty of fun and games at the third-annual Oktoberfest at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.
The six-day festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday and resumes the following weekend from Oct. 11 to 13, have expanded the games, contests and attractions that have made the festival a hit in its first two years.
In addition to stein races and barrel rolling competitions, the festival has added two new games—“Das Boot” Beer Pour and Masskrugstemmen. Popular at Oktoberfests in Europe, Masskrugstemmen is a test of strength and endurance in which participants hold full mugs in each arm for as long as they can without spilling or bending their elbows.
The festival will also bring back its most popular feature—the Dachshund races, this time promising twice the Dachshund, with races planned at 3 p.m. Sunday and again on Oct. 13.
Registration is still open for anyone who wants to enter their dog in the race. Do it at www.active.com. Registration is $40 and includes two admission tickets to Oktoberfest that day.
Single day admission costs $10 for the public and $7 for ArtsQuest members. Event passes that give you admission for all six days are also available for $25 for the public and $20 for ArtsQuest members. Click here for more information.
Also happening in the Lehigh Valley this weekend:
- Youngsters can check out some cool trucks—and a helicopter—Saturday when the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity hosts "Touch a Truck" at Tuskes Community Park. The event will be from from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Nazareth High School football team hosts Parkland Friday night at the stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The Parkland team is tied for first place in the Lehigh Valley Conference with a record of 4-1. The game will be carried live on Service Electric TV2.
- Easton Garlic Fest returns Saturday and Sunday for its 11th year, with dozens of foods vendors and restaurants offering garlic-themed products and dishes. There'll be live music, chef demonstrations, and a cook-off featuring the mayors of Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown. You'll get a chance to sample garlic themed dinners and even garlic themed desserts.
- Take a journey into the past and the paranormal on Moravian Book Shop’s original candle-lit walking tour! Learn the legends and lore of over a dozen locations in Bethlehem’s celebrated Historic District, from ghostly soldiers who cannot move on, to a spirited songstress who continues to entertain. You’ll hear tales of unrequited love, ladies seeking justice, and spooks who have saved the day! Tours run weekends throughout October. Adult Tickets- $13.00, Children (13 and under)- $10.00. For details and reservations call 610-866-5481.
- Two-time Emmy winner, New York Times bestselling author, Grammy nominee, Kathy Griffin is a multi-faceted performer with rapid-fire wit. She has been making audiences laugh for years discussing Hollywood gossip and celebrity blunders. She’ll perform her standup routine at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are from $49.50 to $79.50.
- Join the staff of the Fox Environmental Center and bird-watching expert Mark Boyd on a hawk watching trip to Scott's Mountain at Merrill Creek Reservoir on Sunday morning. Meet promptly at 9 a.m. at the K-Mart Shopping Center—Route 22 and 25th St.—for a short drive directly to the hawk viewing site; no walking needed. Dress warmly. Bring binoculars, snacks, a drink, and a chair if you'd like to sit. Trip will end by noon. This is a beautiful location with very close views of hawks, and resident Bald Eagles are almost always overhead.
- Dorney's Park's Boo Blast offers daytime Halloween fun for kids this weekend. Boo Blast is free with park admission and open noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. (Planet Snoopy is open until 8 p.m. on Saturday). New this year is the Mansion House Hotel where kids can wander haunted hallways in search of friendly ghosts.
- Two rock icons of the 1960s join forces Sunday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Brian Wilson, the leader of the Beach Boys, and famed British guitar slinger Jeff Beck hit the stage at 7:30. Tickets are from $59.50 to $89.50.