By Miriam Raftery
Photo: LMVA president Peter Soutowood and Councilwoman Akilah Weber, during Oktoberfest discussion
June 26, 2019 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council, majority approved a 3-year permit for McFarlane Promotions to run the city’s popular Oktoberfest in partnership with the La Mesa Village Association, which will be from October 4-6 this year.
This year’s event will include several changes including an additional beer garden that will be German-themed with traditional German music, foods, and German-costumed servers. Event-goers can still find a broader variety of music and foods at another beer garden plus food trucks that will be moved to a side street for improved flow; a total of 45 food vendors and 95 nonfood vendors will be included. There will be two kids fun zones with attractions such as a trampoline, inflatable jumps, and face painting. Wiener dog (dachshund) races, another crowd favorite, will return but be moved to Alison Avenue.
McFarlane will provide a 50% cost recovery to the city, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year. Councilmembers Kristine Alessio and Akilah Weber voted no, wanting a higher cost recovery rate in the wake of projections that the city will likely have to tap its reserves to balance its budget in the next couple of years.