As if on cue, this morning’s showers moved out and brilliant sunshine broke through the clouds as the final day of the 7th Annual Lake George Oktoberfest got underway. The section of Canada Street in front of Shepard Park was blocked off to make room for the beer garden, a large tent housing a stage, dance floor, picnic tables, a beer wagon and a table laden with Bavarian sausages, sauerkraut, German potato salad, apple strudel and other Deutschland favorites.
A crowd was slow to gather, but by 2 p.m., several hundred were in the beer garden or out in the street and in Shepard Park taking in the festivities. With the air temperature rising to near 80 degrees, and a good dose of humidity, it felt more like mid-summer than October.
Carnival rides, bounce houses, merchandise vendors and food producers filled the street and park surrounding the beer garden. Games set up in the street included cornhole, giant Connect Four and Jenga blocks and a toss-a-rubber-chicken-in-a-barrel challenge. Shopkeepers along Canada Street threw open their doors and rolled racks of merchandise out to the sidewalk drawing the interest of people enjoying the street fair.
German polka band Inseldudler, horn-playing men and women in lederhosen and dirndl dresses, provided the music. They raised toasts and played traditional polkas, throwing in a little Dixieland Jazz and even a version of the Beatles “When I’m Sixty-Four.” In between sets, German dance troupe Edelweiss Schuhplatters of the Utica Maennerchor performed traditional folk dances.
The Lake George Oktoberfest opened Friday evening and continued through Saturday and Sunday. It has become a favorite Columbus Day Weekend event in Lake George. Admission is free. The Lake George Oktoberfest is presented by the Town and Village of Lake George and the Adirondack Brewery.