Big Bear Lake, CA, August 3, 2012, noon - The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest celebrates 42 years of German style family fun and good times this year. The festival at the Convention Center offers authentic German entertainment, food and fun. The Franken Power Express Band from Germany will perform and a variety of dance groups will perform throughout the event. Oktoberfest kicks off on Saturday and Sunday, September 15 & 16 offering free admission for all past and present military and their immediate families, as well as firefighters and law enforcement. Oktoberfest features non-stop entertainment, dancing and zany German antics for six and a half weekends. The fun includes carnival games, bounce houses, pony rides, Samson – the mechanical bull, and a variety of arts and crafts vendors. Festival-goers can participate in free contests including Beer Stein Holding, Log Sawing, Pretzel Eating, the Safe Slam non-alcoholic beer drinking contest, and new this year a Big Bear version of Bier Pong. The festival closes on Saturday, October 27 with costume contests for both adults and children. The adult contest this year will offer up to $1,000 in prizes.