Oktoberfest comes to Pelham Bay

This volksfest is fit for a Kaiser.

Pelham Bay is putting its own twist on Bavaria’s favorite holiday, celebrated by both local folks and kings.

The Pelham Bay Merchants Association will host its first Oktoberfest Party on Saturday, October 26 in Keane Square.

The center of the Munich-inspired festivities will take place on the park under the el at Westchester and Buhre avenues.

Young kindergarteners to folks of schnapps-drinking age are invited to the fest, which kicks off in the early afternoon after a Halloween Parade rolls into the square from Crosby Avenue.

Costumes encouraged

Don’t worry if you don’t own a tight-fitting dirndl or forgot your lederhosen at home. Costumes of any persuasion are encouraged, said Irene Guanill, Pelham Bay Merchants Association President.

Halloween attire will do as well, while and local bars Jimmy Ryan’s and Shamrock will be giving out special festive hats, Guanill said.

The fest is only loosely based on the annual epic Munich party that takes place in September and early October.

That means pizza and subs to go along with pretzels and sausages.

Local restaurants including Vito’s Deli and Mangia Brick Open pizza will serve food on tables outside, Guanill said. Grilling is fine as long as the vendors do not use gas grills, she said.

Other vendors from the community, including those a couple blocks away from Keane Square, will set up as well for sidewalk sales. Participation is optional, but Guanill hopes that the sidewalks will be filled with tables offering deals.

For all merchants

“My goal is to have all of the merchants in Pelham Bay feel like they are part of this, especially those from a bit away from the center,” Guanill said.

Pop star wunderkinds can strut their stuff at a karaoke booth set up on a stage in Keane Square Park. The DJ plans to give out prizes for costume meisters, Guanill said.

Gift certificates for local businesses will be doled out in a raffle. Customers can enter by making any purchase of more than $5, Guanill said.

The October 26 event will be the community’s first attempt at an Oktoberfest, she said. The merchants are hoping for clear skies and full stomachs.

“It’s a theme that we are really excited about,” Guanill said. “We’re hoping to see families and kids come out, and have a great time.”

Ben Kochman can be reach via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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