Weekend To Do: Big Bear Lake Maifest is Back

big bear lake maifest

Big Bear Lake Maifest is Back! The annual spinoff event to Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest kicks off May 22 with a live band, traditional contests, authentic German food and of course ice-cold German beer. Big Bear Lake Maifest returns the following week for Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30, for more festive, good times. 

The Annual Big Bear Lake Maifest is known as Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest's little sister. It's a scaled-down version of Oktoberfest, but provides the same ambiance of cheerful revelries. The organizers of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest conceived this novel idea when they learned about numerous celebrations that occur every spring throughout Germany called Maifest. These traditional German festivals date back to the 18th century when villagers and townspeople celebrated the end of winter and the arrival of springtime. It's a natural fit for Big Bear, which recently thawed off its winter coat, and now welcomes spring with open arms. While Big Bear Lake Maifest is on a much smaller scale than her big sister Oktoberfest, there is one thing for certain and that is Maifest packs a big punch!

In fact, Maifest has its very own punch drink called Maibowle (a champagne-style punch). It also serves authentic German beers, which includes traditional Springfest beers called Maibock. Another central custom is the festive Maypole known as the Maibaum. This iconic centerpiece comes adorned with coloful ribbons creating great photo opportunities. Plus, Big Bear Lake Maifest adds Oktoberfest favorites to the mix including sizzling bratwursts hot off the grill, homemade sauerkraut, fresh pretzels, apple strudel with warm vanilla sauce, a live band, log-sawing contests, stein holding competitions, and kids' activities. Attendees are encouraged to dress in a lederhosen or dirndl to heighten the spirit of the event. Those who come dressed in traditional German attire receive a free Warsteiner gift!

Oktoberfest will take place outdoors under the majestic mountain pines.  It's a rain or shine event, and organizers have a plan B in place to move festivities indoors in case Mother Nature throws a curveball. Big Bear Lake Maifest is fully prepared to present a safe and healthy environment by following all necessary CDC guidelines.

Big Bear Lake Maifest is Saturday, May 22, Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The weekend festivities take place at The Big Bear Lake Convention Center; home to Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62+), and $5 for kids (3 to 12 years of age). Preferred seating is available for $18, which includes reserved seating and cocktail service. To pre-purchase tickets online or for general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com, or Facebook, or call 909-585-3000.

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