LONGMONT – Boulder County residents came together Friday to watch a group of men, and boys, see how many bratwursts they could down in three minutes.
The total winning amount was four, but the brat eating contest wasn’t the only reason the crowd gathered at Roosevelt Park in Longmont. The real reason was to celebrate and be merry at the Left Hand Brewing Company’s annual Oktoberfest celebration.
The park was filled with patrons; those dressed casually or straight from work, and also those who in the spirit of the season were donned in traditional German garb. For the men, it meant lederhosen, and for the women, dirndl.
“It’s for our German heritage,” said Coqui Stetson, a regular attendee of the annual festival, which has been going on for well over 20 years.
Stetson and her sister attended the event, which was filled with music, food, and of course, beer.
Stetson said her reason for attending was the beer, while her sister had another take on the event.
“It’s really for the men in lederhosen today,” said Jill Grant. “Normally it would be the beer, but today it’s the lederhosen.”
The event, which claimed itself as the “biggest beer fest yet” included several local breweries to taste from, as well multiple vendors, kids activities, and 12 bands, including traditional German polka music from Neue Polka out of Colorado State University.
The event was not only an opportunity for Boulder County residents to drink and be merry, but proceeds from the event went to a good cause, this year’s being Habitat for Humanity.
“Every year they have a different cause they are supporting,” Stetson said. “It’s a great fundraiser and is always a ton of fun.”
The event began as a fundraiser led by the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, but since its beginnings years ago, has grown so big that the orchestra passed on the reins to Left Hand Brewing, who now hosts the event.
Kim and Doug Stiles moved to the area 35 years ago after visiting and falling in love with the area. They came to the event to sell Kim’s knitted creations, varying from scarves to blankets to washcloths.
The couple has been attending the annual Oktoberfest since it began, and love the way it brings the community together as one.
“We enjoy seeing everyone that we wouldn’t normally see, and meeting a lot of new people as well,” Kim Stiles said in between talking to customers about her wares.
“This event gets so many people from the community here as a family, as a group to give to the charities each,” Doug Stiles said. “It’s a sense of community and it’s a good way to meet up with people you haven’t seen in a while and to enjoy the weather and music and of course, the beer.”
This year the event brought international acts Con Brio and the Wailers to perform, which brought people of all ages to the event to dance and enjoy the perfect fall weather that came with the day.
The event continues tomorrow, with more music, beer, and of course, bratwursts to indulge in.