KILLINGTON — Let the tastings begin! The first two weekends of October, Killington will be flush with seasonal tastings, hops, eclectic music and a new Bavarian flair.
Brewfest, Oct. 2-3
Brewfest is one of Killington’s most distinctive annual celebrations, and this year the resort has expanded to include both Snowshed and Ramshead Base Lodges with over 100 beers on tap, food and music.
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Brewfest Golf Tournament takes place from 3-7 p.m. (The popular event is sold out, according to resort’s website.) On Saturday, Oct. 3, a Brewers Brunch is offered from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., a VIP Tasting Session from 12-1 p.m. (also sold out) and the signature event the Tasting Session, from 1-5 p.m.
Tickets to the tasting are $40 and include a commemorative drinking glass.
Oktoberfest, Oct. 9-11
Killington’s first Oktoberfest, a fall celebration of Bavarian food, music, and activities debuts Columbus Day weekend, Friday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 11.
The Opa Oompah Band, a 5-15 piece instrumental/vocal group specializing in German festival music, is featured on Saturday and Sunday. But there’s also a Killington spin on things with a range of eclectic live music for all tastes and ages. Over 40 local, regional and traditional German Oktoberfest beers will be available for sampling, and a major festival hightlight will be the Stein Hoisting Regional Championship.
An International Federation of Stein Hoisting (IFOSH) sanctioned event, the male and female winners who hold up 32-ounce steins the longest (one in each hand) will each win a Killington/Pico season pass, tickets to a New England Patriots game, and a trip to Denver, CO, to compete in the September 2016 World Championships of Stein Hoisting. Second and third place finishers will receive ski tickets and tickets to a Boston Bruins game.
The Ski House Challenge offers an opportunity for fun-loving competitive types to form teams of eight to test their keg bowling, beer pong, brat eating, Terra Maze, and stein-hoisting skills. Not a member of a ski house? No problem, just gather a group of eight, notes Justine Spence, publicist for Oktoberfest presenter Human Movement, Inc. (HM).
Human Movement is a Denver based active entertainment and event company that produces running races, festivals, triathlons, obstacle races, and outdoor events from spring to fall annually. The company has about 100 employees and was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing companies in 2014.
Powdr Corp, Killington’s corporate parent, acquired Human Movement last March. Killington is the first Powdr resort to host the HM-produced Oktoberfest. Human Movement presents Denver’s annual Oktoberfest over two September weekends. Spence said Denver’s event draws 500,000 visitors, and the World Stein-Hoisting Championships alone draw 50,000 people. It’s one of the largest Oktoberfests in the U.S., she added.
This is the second Human Movement event to hit Killington, noted Killington spokesman Michael Joseph, who said the July Dirty Girls Mud Run was the first and was quite successful.
“Our specialties are complementary, so Human Movement and Killington make sense as partners. We can provide an amazing venue any time of year, have a ravenous fan base that loves pushing themselves and trying new things, and Human Movement is the best in the business at active entertainment. You can be sure that the atmosphere will be electric at Killington during any Human Movement event — our teams work well together and we all share the same enthusiasm. We’re excited to watch that translate to an unforgettable weekend during the inaugural Killington Oktoberfest,” Joseph told The Mountain Times.
The town of Killington is one of the sponsors of Oktoberfest. Amy Morrison, the town’s events and marketing coordinator, commented, “We believe reinvesting the [former] Hay Festival budget into Oktoberfest will have a greater return on investment for our community. The goal of our sponsorship is to help establish Oktoberfest as an annual marquee event for the Columbus Day Weekend.”
Oktoberfest schedule highlights
Friday’s opening ceremonies run from 2 to 3 p.m. with the day featuring food, beer, and stein hoisting pre-qualifying rounds. The Maestro Men, with a diverse repertoire ranging from polkas to waltzes and beyond, will enhance the Bavarian atmosphere with German Oktoberfest tunes. Later, The Roots of Creation will deliver a true rock show, complete with psychedelic and energizing lights.
Saturday’s lineup includes family time with Andy the Music Man from 11 to 1 p.m. The guitarist, mandolin player, and songwriter, mixes traditional and original songs with novelty, delighting and involving kids through sing-a-longs, dancing, play-acting and storytelling. He repeats on Sunday.
Opa’s Oompah Band entertains with a variety of European folk music, waltzes, marches and polkas from 1 to 4:30 Saturday, followed by the Alchemystics who blend a range of sounds from reggae to hard-driving rock for an exciting prequel to the 7 p.m. Stein Hoisting finals. The average time for women is one minute and four minutes for men, notes Spence, giving would-be contestants something to shoot for.
Ski house challenge contests take place from 2 to 7 for contestant and viewing fun; prizes include lift tickets, baseball tickets, and items to improve every ski house, Spence noted.
Sunday features more stein hoisting, brat contest, food, beer, and music — Andy’s Family hours, Opa Ompah, plus the Wheel with Andy doing Grateful Dead sets.
The popular festival known as Oktoberfest dates back to 19th century Germany and a prince’s wedding celebration that featured horse racing and beer.
The five-day October festivities in 1810 saw 40,000 joining in the celebration. It then became an annual event as an anniversary tribute to the couple. Over the years, the horse racing was dropped, and the festival evolved into a Munich-based celebration running from September into October to take advantage of warmer weather and to allow for more festivities and fun.
Over 100 American town and cities have adopted the colorful celebration due to their large German immigrant populations. In the last 50 years, ski areas have followed suit, and today many resorts offer the Bavarian celebration with a host of other activities expanding their festivals.
Good to know
Admission is free. Food and beverages can be purchased through tickets bought on site or through packages.
Food will include such Bavarian favorites as bratwurst, sauerkraut, turkey legs, and German pretzels.
The Oktoberfest Killington commemorative 32-ounce stein comes with two beer tickets. Skip the lines and pre-order your stein.
VIP packages are available that include food, beer, hats and t-shirts.
Costumes and Bavarian wear are encouraged so get out the lederhosen and dirndls.
The Snowshed Adventure Center is open throughout the weekend and scenic lift rides will be available.
For more information visit www.killingtonoktoberfest.com