Local brewers featured at Okotberfest

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A Woodland Park tradition, the 15th annual Rocky Mountain Oktoberfest heralds the region as a place to brew good beer. With offerings from Bierwerks in Woodland Park and Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs, the mountain Oktoberfest establishes a local connection.

To top it off and add another local business, Banana Belt Liquors in Woodland Park provides a selection of German wines.

Presented by the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce, Oktoberfest this year has expanded to two days rather than one on the weekend of Sept. 22 and 23. “We've added more entertainment as well,” said Debbie Miller, the chamber's president.

As the beer is local, so, too, do the bands represent the range of local musicians, including Steele Daniels, The Key of Joy and the Cari Dell Band. The musicians play both inside the Ute Pass Cultural Center as well as in the Pavilion.

The food at Oktoberfest is notably German, with a little Irish thrown in for the Guinness beer brats. Otherwise, the vendors feature pulled pork, sauerkraut and German potato salad.

On a recent visit to Fort Carson by Miller, her assistant Sue Griswold, Mayor David Turley and city manager David Buttery, the four talked up the amenities of Woodland Park, including the annual celebration that honors the German tradition.

“A lot of our soldiers have been in Germany and while they understand that we're not a true German Oktoberfest, it's kind of the flavor of that,” Miller said. “So our soldiers look forward to the opportunity to come here and bring the family.”

Oktoberfest is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 and 23 at the Ute Pass Cultural Center. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and active-duty military.