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Photo by Ellen Miller-Goins A competitor from the 2017 Ms Oktoberfest competition does her best to win.

Oktoberfest – Red River Rolls Out the Barrel

Dust off your lederhosen and dirndl for Oktoberfest Oct.7 –9 in Red River! The event in Brandenburg Park, features authentic German food and music, New Mexico craft beer and wines, arts and crafts vendors, family friendly activities like Children’s Pumpkin Painting, and contests like the popular Ms. & Mr. Oktoberfest.

The event tentatively debuted again last year following a one-year hiatus. “This was right as I came on board last year,” said Naoma STaley, Director of Operations at the Red River Chamber of Commerce. STaley added last year’s event was planned by chamber board members Sharon Calhoun, co-owner of the Red River Brewing Company and Distillery and Ellen Gay, Manager at Sheehan Winery Tasting Room in Red River.

Despite getting a late start last year due to uncertainty over whether 2021 events would be allowed, STaley said, “We ended up having about 5,000 people last year and 45-50 vendors. It was a huge success!
STaley, Gay, Calhoun and the chamber staff have worked extra hard on this year’s event, which will feature breweries, wineries, artisans, music, and food. Food vendors include German food, bakeries, New Mexican cuisine, and more, STaley said, “We’re pretty excited, we have a good variety of cuisines.”

Missing last year and this year will be live oompah/polka bands. “COVID hit us pretty hard,” STaley admitted, adding the chamber is taking it slow to rebuild its coffers. Instead, music will be provided by popular local DJ James Prichard, aka DJ JP who can “spin polka (and non-polka) hits with ease and will also preside as Master of Ceremonies all 3 days. “DJ JP knows our event pretty well,” STaley added. “He’s great!”

Prichard added, “I have been the DJ for 7 years now, and it has grown so much,” Prichard said, adding that, as one of Red River’s premier events, “It’s becoming one of the best events of the year. As you know, there’s nothin’ like drinking at altitude!”

Most years the weather and fall colors are glorious and vendors include “a good mix of new and returning vendors,” STaley said, adding, “It’s going to be exciting to see locals along with new visitors. We always get a lot of people from the Balloon Fiesta, so it will be a good mix.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Brandenburg Park this year. So, whether you’re a local or out-of-towner, you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the fall season in Red River with the whole family!”
Admission for everyone 13 and older is $10 for one day, or $25 for all 3 days. Bring a photo ID if you plan to enjoy beer and/or wine. Children 12 and under get in for free. Well-behaved on-leash dogs and pets are also welcome.

“There are early ticket sales and glassware sales available on our website,” STaley noted, adding, “We’ll have limited run beer-bottle openers with our logo, and T-shirts.”

Along with Ms & Mr Oktoberfest competitions, the event features other contests like the popular Oktoberfest Beard/Mustache Competition, and Children’s Pumpkin Painting; plus, attendees will get to vote for Best Brewery, Best Winery, Best Artisan Booth, and Best Food.

For more info, visit https://www.redriverchamber.org/okt22 or call 575-754-2366.