Oktoberfest brings beer and games to Mount Snow before winter

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WEST DOVER — Winter is coming and one way of knowing is by looking at the leaves changing color.

The other way is by visiting Mount Snow, where foliage and beer will be on tap for the 19th Annual Oktoberfest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

"It's a great way to kind of end summer and get ready for the winter. It's the time when most people come and pick up their season passes," said Jamie Storrs, communications manager for Mount Snow. "We do a lot of boot fitting. People buy new skis."

This year's Oktoberfest is set to have 25 different breweries represented with authentic German food and Oom-pah music. The event is the last one held in the fall before the ski resort turns to white.

"It's also our biggest one," Storrs said. "It's a little bigger than Brewers Fest."

About 5,000 people attended the Brewers Festival in September. Oktoberfest is expected to see closer to 6,000 people. And that's because of its family-friendly nature, Storrs said.

A children's section of the festival offers face and pumpkin painting, with a kid's version of the Gulp and Gallop 5K called the Kool Aid 1K. Also, there's an obstacle course made up of bouncy features.

For the races on Saturday morning, check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. The races start at 9 a.m. The participant, depending on age, drinks a glass of beer or a cup of Kool Aid after each lap.

Adults can play games, too. The list includes a keg toss, horseshoe tournament, yodeling contest and stein holding competition.

"The event of the day is the schnitzel toss," Storrs said, describing the game in which two people team up and throw a meat concoction back and forth. "They take a step back then throw it again. Then they take another step back. Hundreds of people do it. It's a fun, really ridiculous event. There's a lot of flying wieners."

Mount Snow's Oktoberfest made it onto the Vermont Chamber of Commerce's top 10 fall events for this year.

While the events are only on Saturday and Sunday, chairlifts will be spinning until Monday. At the summit is the Bullwheel, where food and beverages are served. Beer tokens from Oktoberfest will be accepted there on Monday.

"The foliage is always kind of hitting off at the same time (as Oktoberfest)," Storrs said, noting that it's also the last weekend of downhill mountain biking. "We get a lot of people out because we're one of the resorts that stay open longer for mountain biking."

The annual Harvest Arts and Crafts Show will be held inside the main base lodge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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