There’s still a month to go before busloads of beer-loving revelers will descend upon the Vankleek Hill fairgrounds for the 2nd annual Beau’s Oktoberfest. Tim Beauchesne and his son Steve, along with the boisterous bunch behind Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., were in full Bavarian spirit (Alpine hats, lederhosen, live oompah music, platters of flammekuchen…) at Murray Street Kitchen today for the official launch of the upcoming fundraising event.
The folks at Beau’s promise some huge improvements over last year’s celebration which, by all accounts, got a little out of hand. Suffice it to say, the turnout surpassed all expectations, lineups were long, and the food and beer actually ran out! They say they have spent the better part of the year since then carefully organizing the 2010 bash with the benefit of hindsight.
This year, for instance, the event will be held over two days, rather than one. So far, Steve says they have more than 160 volunteers signed up to help keep things running smoothly. That’s important when you’ve got a party going on with 3,500 guests each day. Beauchesne also promises that the food will be a highlight this year (sorry Pizza Pizza). Traditional Bavarian-style food will be prepared by some of the top restaurants and local food artisans.
As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, it sounds like Steve has been personally involved in cooking up 1,000 pounds of playdough for Kinderfest, the kids section of Oktoberfest where there will be a petting zoo, face painting, and arts and crafts, as well as DooDoo the International Clown (who grown-ups might recognize from Adam Sandler’s movie Billy Madison). Don’t worry, there are plenty of outrageous activities designed for the “big kids” too — everything from a sausage eating contest to the spouse carrying race.
A $15 ticket (kids are $5) gets you in the door for a full day of music, fun, and games. It also includes one beverage (yes, beer counts), a souvenir Alpine hat, and a freshly-baked Art-is-in pretzel. You can get your tickets online at beaus.ca or the Piggy Market at 400 Winston Ave.
If you are coming from Ottawa, be sure to plan a safe drive back and forth from Vankleek Hill or take advantage of the shuttle service from Ottawa for $25 (which includes event admission). Beau’s expects to raise $20,000 this year for the United Way, Canadian Organic Week, and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society.
For more detailed information, and to sign up for activities and contests, visit www.beaus.ca.
In related news: Beau’s fans will also be interested to note that the brewery recently won two categories at the 2010 Golden Tap Awards in Toronto: best microbrewery in Ontario and best regularly produced beer in Ontario, for Lug Tread.