You don't have to speak German to enjoy this weekend's Oktoberfest celebration in Rochester.
But if you can learn one word before you head to the annual event at Rochester Mills Beer Company on Friday or Saturday, it should be this one: "Prost!"
The weekend celebration is family-friendly and includes German-style food and beer under a tent next to the Mills. There will be live music, Bavarian dancing, moonwalks and other kids' activities -- and even a sauerkraut-eating contest.
Here's what you need to know right now:
- When: The celebration officially kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. with a ceremonial tapping of the Rochester Mills Oktoberfest Seasonal Celebration Lager. On Friday, the tent is open from 5-11 p.m. On Saturday, hours are 1-11 p.m.
- Cost: Admission to the tent is $5 for adults. Children 16 and under are free with a paying adult.
- Who benefits? Proceeds will help Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan and the YMCA North Oakland County Waves swim club.
- Why go? “Rochester Mills Oktoberfest is one of the biggest in Michigan. The party gets bigger and bigger each year with thousands of repeat local attendees and visitors from across the state,” said Rochester Mills Beer Co. marketing director David Youngman. “And having this year’s batch of Oktoberfest Celebration Lager available early on tap at bars and restaurants across the state, this might be the biggest Oktoberfest we’ve ever had.”
- About the beer: The Mills has prepared fresh batches of Rochester Mills Water Street Wheat (German style Hefe-Weizen), Lazy Daze Lite (Michigan-style light beer) and this year’s Oktoberfest Lager (German style lager).
- Live music: Bands will perform from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
- Is it really for kids? There will be carnival games, moonwalks, a climbing wall, pony rides, a petting zoo, clowns, balloon and tattoo artists.