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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Oktoberfest Event Embraces Other Cultures

October 11, 1993|SARA CATANIA

Thousands of Ventura County residents munched bratwurst and chugged beer to the strains of a 36-piece German band Sunday at Ventura County's second annual Oktoberfest.

The three-day event, held at the Ventura Fairgrounds, began Friday evening and ran through Sunday.

In the main pavilion, converted into an echoing beer hall, crowds watched as men in plume-feathered hats and lederhosen waltzed with women in long, swirling gowns.

Fest-goers could also stroll through a Renaissance village and a wood-worker show, watch boxing matches and listen to mariachi music.

"It doesn't seem very German to me," said Linda Cross, a manufacturing worker from Thousand Oaks. "It's strange to have all these other things going on."

Fair organizer Kai M. Werzinger explained that he wanted the event to appeal to non-German residents as well.

"Sure it's an Oktoberfest, but it's an international fest, too," he said. "We have Hispanic music and entertainment and also oom-pah-pah music for the Germans," he said.

Sunday's crowd, estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000, was by far the largest of the event. Sunday's half-price admission, down from $8 to $4, probably helped draw fest-goers to the event, Werzinger said.

"In these hard times I think the price was just too high for a lot of people," he said. "We're going to keep it between $4 and $5 from now on."

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