CHOCTAW — If you like beer, swords and smoked meat, Choctaw Creek Park is the place to be this weekend.
Choctaw’s 24th annual Oktoberfest celebration kicks off Friday evening with the ceremonial tapping of the first keg. The festival will bring nine days of beer, revelry and German traditions to the Oklahoma City metro area.
Mike Turek, the event’s organizer, said he expects the festival to attract more than 40,000 people from at least a dozen states. Workers have been preparing food for several days leading up to the event.
“That’s what you’ve got to do to have a good quality event,” Turek said. “The music is great, the atmosphere is great, but in the end, it’s the food.”
The festival includes German food, beer, wine, music and dancing. The menu will include German fare like bratwurst, smoked pork chops, schnitzel sandwiches and potato salad. It also will include 44 varieties of German and American beer.
Turek, the owner of the Old Germany restaurant in Choctaw, emigrated to the United States from his home near Frankfurt, Germany, in 1974 and opened the restaurant in 1976. In 1991, he decided to hold an Oktoberfest celebration on the grounds of the restaurant.
What started as a small gathering with bratwurst, beer and a band doubled in size the following year and continued to grow over the decades until it eventually outgrew the restaurant. After he ran out of room inside the restaurant, he opted to move the celebration to Choctaw Creek Park, where it remains today.