Big Bear News – Big Bear Lake, CA – The Annual Big Bear Lake Maifest, known as Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest’s little sister, is a scaled-down version of Oktoberfest, but provides the same ambiance of cheerful revelries. Maifest kicks off May 21, and returns the following week for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. A special promotion for local residents get free general admission to the Maifest kickoff event on Saturday, May 21.
This traditional German springtime festival brings plenty of Oktoberfest essentials with invigorating springtime flavors. Topping the list is Maibock, a German-style brew that’s pale in color and more hop-centric than its fall/winter counterpart bock-style beers. Another thing that sets Maifest apart from her big sister Oktoberfest is a festive Maypole known as the Maibaum, which comes adorned with brilliant, colorful ribbons. Plus, Big Bear Lake Maifest adds Oktoberfest favorites to the mix including bratwurst, homemade sauerkraut, fresh pretzels, apple strudel with warm vanilla sauce, a live German band, log-sawing contests, stein holding competitions, a balloon artist, kids’ activities, and of course the chicken dance.
New this year, is a contest that challenges three teams of three to decorate their own individual, abbreviated-version of a Maibuam the fastest. This new contest is expected to draw lots of fun-filled blunders and slipups, which in turn will stir up plenty of hoots and hollers from spectators.
This year, the Free Big Bear Trolley gives complimentary rides to the Big Bear Lake Convention Center (home to Maifest), as one of the Free Trolley’s regular stops. With limited parking capacity, Big Bear Lake Maifest organizers encourage guests to hop on the Free Big Bear Trolley to catch a free ride to the event. Visit MountainTransit.org to view the different routes and schedules. There’s no reason to fret about getting back home either, because Big Bear Lake Maifest ensures its patrons get back safe with its very own Free shuttle service. The complimentary shuttle runs from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Convention Center. Catch a free ride to any home or lodging accommodation in Big Bear Valley, and leave the driving to professional drivers. There is no schedule to follow and rides are constantly at the ready. Attendees are encouraged to dress in a lederhosen or dirndl to heighten the spirit of the event. Those who come dressed in traditional German attire receive a free gift. Festivities take place at The Big Bear Lake Convention Center; home to Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Regular admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors (62+), and $6 for kids (3 to 12 years of age). Preferred seating is available for $25, which includes reserved seating and table service for food and cocktails. To pre-purchase tickets online or for general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com or call 909-585-3000.