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Get ready to fill your tankards and sing some German folk songs; Oktoberfest is coming back to Reston Town Center October 5-7, 2012! Hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the 3-day event includes a Saturday morning 5K, food, wine & beer, a carnival, a chili cook off and live entertainment including traditional German music and dance. Whew! Sounds like a quite a weekend, so let’s get down to details, shall we?

The festival opens on Friday, October 5 at 3 pm. That means the carnival will be up and running with rides like the tilt-a-whirl and games to win fantastic prizes for the kids and the kids-at-heart who can’t resist. The food will also be underway with tasty treats like Japanese potstickers from Obi Sushi, Autumn Gnocci from Paolo’s Ristorante, Italian sausage from Il Fornaio, mac & cheese from Uno Chicago Grill, and lots more dishes from participating restaurants! (Carnival tickets will be available to purchase online soon and all-you-can-ride wristbands for Saturday morning will be available for purchase at The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce starting September 17.)

Of course the beers and wines will also be available throughout the festival. In true Oktoberfest fashion, seasonal beers like Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat and Dominion’s Oktoberfest  will be available along with some perennial favorites  such as Beck’s, Bud Light, and Widmer. For those who love microbrews, there will be a couple craft beers on tap near the Library Street stage! And for those poor souls who can’t or don’t like beer, Market Cellars and The Wine Cabinet will have wine available near the Pavilion!

Saturday features a few activities unique to the Oktoberfest weekend!  The morning kicks off at 8:15 am with the Anthem Pumpkin 5K, offering a quick route around Reston Town Center and the surrounding community.  The 5K is followed by the Pumpkin Smash Mile, a non-timed mile long party with Halloween costumes and tons of enthusiasm. Participants with the BEST costumes will be awarded prizes, honor and bragging rights. And lastly, the smallest ones get to decorate pumpkins and compete in the Pumpkin Dash, which also encourages fun and costumes! Online registration is open through October 2, otherwise, you can register at packet pickup on October 5, or on-site before the races on October 6.

Since the runners loop back to the Pavilion prior to Oktoberfest kicking-off, the Scrambled Legs Breakfast will be open for post-race refueling, including fall brews of course, and the carnival will open early and offer unlimited-ride wristbands!  Of course, runners are encouraged to stay and enjoy all the festivities – Oktoberfest opens at 11 am!

If you’re still hungry after the Scrambled Legs Breakfast, you won’t have to wait very long before the Guns ‘n Hoses Chili Cookoff at noon where the Police Department and the Fire Department square off in a battle of brute cooking skills. You will need to taste the competition very, very carefully before deciding on your “People’s Choice” vote. The award ceremony starts at 4 pm, so make sure you’re there when they announce the champion!

It wouldn’t be a festival without live entertainment! Traditional German music and dance will fill the streets all three days. Then at night, the Pavilion will rock out to this line up: Friday night, Gonzo’s Nose, music from the 80s to today; Saturday night, 2U, a U2 tribute band; Sunday night, Almost Journey, as you could guess, a Journey tribute band.

And, as with any great event, volunteers are always a must! If you would like to participate in the event in a slightly different way (and get a few free tickets and a tee-shirt for your efforts!) sign up here.

This is the fall festival that really has something for everybody, so come ready to drink some brews, eat good food, ride the rides and get in the autumn spirit. For ticket sales and other updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, OR, follow Oktoberfest on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you at Reston Town Center – Prost!

(9-13-12 Update: 2012 information here!)

(10-15-10 Update: Photos from 2010 here!)

Grab your beer steins and polka dancing shoes because Oktoberfest is returning to the Reston Town Center.  Join us October 8th – 10th on Market Street for this celebration of the traditional Bavarian festival and experience the best in fall brews, delicious Oktoberfest fare from area restaurants, live entertainment, a carnival, and enough bratwurst to take you back to the Old Country.  Oompah!

The Anthem Great Pumpkin 5K and Kid’s Pumpkin Dash will kick off Saturday’s activities.  Presented by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, this race is fun for the family, and kids will love the Pumpkin Dash and the Pumpkin decorating contest.  This pedestrian-friendly Town Center environment is the perfect destination for a beautiful fall morning run, and an even better spot to enjoy the Oktoberfest “Scrambled Legs” post-race Breakfast!

Oktoberfest Reston features food and drink from local restaurants throughout the event.  Individual Oktoberfest food and beverage tickets may be purchased onsite for $1 each, or in sheets of 24 for $20.  Not a fan of traditional German fare?  Not to worry, there will be a wide selection of items at the festival, and of course, your favorite Reston Town Center restaurants will also be ready to serve you, whether you’re looking for an outdoor patio or to pull up a chair inside for some quiet relaxation.

Stimulate your senses with the unforgettable music provided by a line-up of traditional Oktoberfest talent.  Performing live will be The Continentals, Sexton’s German Band, 2U, The LOW’n’BROWS German Band, and a performance by the popular Alpine Dancers, just to name a few.

Treat your inner child with a visit the Oktoberfest Reston Carnival, located in the parking lot at the corner of Fountain Dr and Freedom Dr.  This festival fun-zone offers games and rides to keep both you and your little ones entertained all day.

So, slip on your lederhosen and join us on October 8th – 10th for Oktoberfest Reston, and celebrate the German in you!

View Oktoberfest photos from 2009

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Oktoberfest Reston is presented by The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. This annual event brings the heart and soul of German tradition to the D.C. suburbs. Don’t miss three very special days of fall fun!

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