Holloman prepares for 16th annual Oktoberfest

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Noch ein bier bitte (pronounced nock eyn bee-uh bit-uh) is German for "another beer please," a phrase which is commonly heard here during the base Oktoberfest celebration.

Members of the German Air Force Flying Training Center and the 49th Wing are ramping up for the 16th annual Oktoberfest, which is set for Sept. 22, from 3 to 11 p.m. at the GAF maintenance hangar.

Though it may be the main attraction, Oktoberfest isn't all about beer. It is a German celebration with an emphasis on honoring a tradition that began more than 200 years ago.

The history of the Oktoberfest in Germany began with the royal wedding Oct. 12, 1810, between Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates, to celebrate the royal event.

Today, the Oktoberfest in Munich is the biggest fair in the world. What's special and attractive about Oktoberfest is its combination of traditions with high-tech, modern ideas and influences. And why does Oktoberfest start in September? Well, it does finish in October, but due to the cool weather in Germany, the organizers decided it would be better to start it on the third weekend in September.

Holloman AFB has held its own version of Oktoberfest here since 1996, after standing up the German Air Force Flying Training Center in 1992.

"Oktoberfest is a Holloman tradition," said Col. Andy Croft, 49th Wing commander. "We're excited and look forward to celebrating alongside the German Air Force and our neighbors throughout the Tularosa Basin. I want everyone to enjoy themselves, but ask that you please have a plan in advance - a plan to have a good time, and a plan to be responsible and make it home safely."

Tickets for the event, which is open the public, are $13 in advance or $16 at the gate the day of the event. They can be purchased at all Otero Federal Credit Union branches, the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, the Holloman AFB community center, outdoor recreation, and the German Air Force headquarters building, Room 2231. Admission for children under 16 is free, but the event is only open to those age 21 and up after 8 p.m.

One full beer stein and bus shuttle service to and from Holloman AFB are included in the price of admission. Authentic German food, such as bratwurst, schnitzel, potato salad, red cabbage, giant pretzel and cheese, will be available for purchase, as well as soft drinks and Oktoberfest beer. A band will play a variety of Bavarian music.

Shuttle service will be provided with stops at the White Sands Mall, Mosswood Avenue, the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, Jack Key, Las Ventanas and Monte Vista apartments on First Street, Coldwell Banker on Scenic Drive, Desert Lakes Road, and several other locations. Three shuttles will be constantly running to accommodate all the attendants.

The shuttle service will start at 2 p.m. with the last in town pick-up at 8 p.m. The last beer call will be at 10 p.m., and the last shuttle back to Alamogordo will depart at 11 p.m.
Individuals who do not possess a military or dependent I.D. card must take the buses to get on base. Tickets and a form of identification are required for entry.

For more information about Oktoberfest, contact the GAF Public Affairs office at (575) 572-2612.