Get a taste of autumn at Oktoberfest

(The Sun-Gazette)

Visalia Chamber of Commerce prepares to host their annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 21, where San Joaquin Valley residents 21+ can grab some fall-time brews

VISALIA – Prepare your gullet and grab your ID, because Oktoberfest is back for its 10th year at Vossler Farms and is arriving just in time for cooler, double-digit weather.

The Visalia Chamber of Commerce has officially announced that tickets are now on sale for their hit event Oktoberfest, which will be held on Sept. 21, starting at 5:30 p.m. For anyone that doesn’t have a calendar handy, the 21st is a Thursday, which marks a return to prior years, as the event has been held on Friday for over a decade.

“We’ve moved it to a Thursday this year…in response to Vossler Farms really growing,” said Gail Zurek, the chief executive officer of the chamber.

The reason for this is simple: Vossler Farms’ business has grown exponentially since they began hosting  the event in 2013, which required the chamber of commerce to hold it earlier in the season.

“When we started out at Vossler, they were young and new, and they used Oktoberfest as a way to kick off their pumpkin patch,” she said. “Since then, they (Vossler Farms) have become so big and so popular that we’ve had to move it up a week.”

While this may sound like a hindrance, Zurek looks at it as a job well done.

“It’s a good problem to have, because it means we’ve partnered with a good local business, and that business is growing, the community supports it,” she said. “Prior to being out at Vossler, it was actually on a Thursday, so it’s a return to that.”

Speaking of things returning, the event will largely be the same as it has in previous years. Aside from the changing of days, Oktoberfest will carry on its tradition as a celebration of community, food and beer.

“There’s good bands, the beer is always great and there’s great food,” Zurek said. “It’s just good to be around people, and hear people happy.”

Last year, the event sold out of their 1,500 tickets, which Zurek predicts will happen again this year.

“You know, it’s pretty exciting (because) it’s such a fan favorite,” she said. “We sell out every year. People just love being at a Pumpkin Festival, they love that farm vibe for a better word.”

Due to how much the community has enjoyed the festival in past years, Zurek recommends buying tickets now, especially since they’ll be discounted until Sept. 8.

“So right now we have an early bird special ticket price,” she said. “In September, tickets are raised. They’ll go from $55 to $60.”

To get tickets, residents can visit the Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s website, where information about the festival can be found under the events tab.

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