HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — The 187th official Oktoberfest event held in Munich, Germany, was canceled this year due to coronavirus. But here in SoCal, there are still ways you can celebrate with a brat and a brew. Old World in Huntington Beach made changes to its annual fest to keep people safe this year.
Old World owner Cyndie Kasko said she wants guests to celebrate the restaurant's 44th Oktoberfest safely. She holds so much pride in a place she has worked her entire life, she said. Kasko's father moved from Germany to the states in the '50s and created a bakery, a gift shop, a restaurant, and the little German town right in the middle of Huntington Beach.
"I feel taking part in that and continuing the legacy is an honor to do so, and I'm excited for my kids to take it over one day," Kasko said.
Since 1977, they have been hosting an Oktoberfest party for the masses. The celebrations begin in the middle of September and go through Nov. 1 every Wednesday through Sunday.
"In Germany, Oktoberfest is only a two-week-long festival, but in America, we love to milk everything as much as possible, and this has just been an annual tradition to what we've done," Kasko said.
But instead of cheers-ing with new friends, taking part in beer drinking contests, or getting up to dance, guests this year must stick by their table and keep their social distance from other parties due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"It will be served to you," Kasko said. "Typically, on normal Oktoberfest, all these bars are pumping, and it is wall to wall just a different feel this year."
It will feel a bit different, but you can still listen to live music from a local band, enjoy a brat, a pretzel, and a beer, even grab a shot from the decked-out shot girls. Kasko said she wants people to have fun while following the health guidelines.
"We have to take the good with the bad, and we are very blessed we can even have an Oktoberfest. You can always still eat, drink, and be merry, and you can still do the chicken dance at your table," Kasko said.
Oktoberfest will be held Wednesday through Sunday until Nov. 1, and reservations are required for Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit the Oktoberfest site.