Everyone is German during Oktoberfest, a celebration of food, drink and fun that serves as a prelude to upcoming holiday gorging. The Idaho Botanical Garden has played host to Oktoberfest for the last eight years, and the popular event brings in crowds of 800-1,200, rain or shine. A tent is set up on the plaza for coverage if needed, but if you ingest the right amount of ale and kraut, a little inclement weather is no match for the merriment.
Fill up on the fall brews and new releases by Tablerock Brewpub, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse and The Ram Brewery, with food and beverages available for purchase. Dance off the rich repast by hoisting up steins during a set by Northwest’s best German band, Wolfie and The Bavarians, performing Oktoberfest music from noon-4 p.m. The band is comprised of a group of accomplished players who perform on accordion, clarinet, baritone, tuba, drums and trumpet. Audience participation adds to the high-energy show that features many of the traditional polkas, waltzes and marches, coupled with selections directly from Oktoberfest. Wolfie (Rob Walker) sings many of the tunes in German as well.
Casandra Sipes, marketing director for the Idaho Botanical Garden, said, “They play all the Oktoberfest hits with a twist. The band is kind of like what Hogan’s Heroes was to WWII. It’s campy, fun and zany entertainment.”
After the Oktoberfest selections, the audience is treated to some authentic blues by The BoDo Brothers rocking the festival from 4-6 p.m. Samples of the menu include Tablerock Brewpub’s bratwurst, sauerbraten and a jagerschnitzel accompanied by sauerkraut, wine and grapes, plus selections for the vegetarians who are German at heart but can do without all the sausage. Sweets include traditional German desserts like apple strudel.
Noon-6 p.m., $6 general, $4 children (4-12), $4 Idaho Botanical Garden members, Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise, 208-343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.