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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Oktoberfest in Blaine

A pint glass available with $35 package. // Courtesy photo from Emily Baker at the Semiahmoo Resort
A pint glass available with $35 package. // Courtesy photo from Emily Baker at the Semiahmoo Resort

Beers, brats and Blaine.

As greens fade to orange, and iced coffees become pumpkin spice lattes, usher in the new season by attending Oktoberfest in Blaine on Oct. 8 and 9. The celebration is an international German festival meant to welcome in the fall season and now the City of Blaine is joining in on the merriment.

In addition to the classic German festivities, the celebration in downtown Blaine features an array of family-friendly activities to showcase and sell art presented by the Blaine Harbor Art Gallery — aptly named “Art-Oberfest.”

Debbie Harger, community and tourism development coordinator for Blaine, said activities include a harvest-made pancake breakfast at the Blaine Pavilion, pumpkin smashing contests and an oyster grilling competition. For those over the age of 21, both days will include an ambulance rented out for a pub crawl, which will provide  free rides between pubs throughout the weekend.

“It seemed like a great time to create something bigger and better from what is already happening. It really is just about fun,” Harger said. “The outcome is that there will be people here that will enjoy themselves and they’ll want to come back to Blaine.”

The cost of admission to the tent on either day is $25 or $35; the extra $10 gets you a pint beer glass. The entry fee includes access to the German festivities and a four-hour music set played by a DJ in German garb from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. According to Semiahmoo’s event details, the German fair includes bratwurst, pickled herring, large pretzels, chicken schnitzel and more, provided by one of Blaine’s own German restaurants and another outside catering company.

“It seemed like a great time to create something bigger and better from what is already happening. It really is just about fun.”

Debbie Harger

This will be the second year Oktoberfest is celebrated at the resort, but this will be the first year the City of Blaine participates as a community with Art-Oberfest. Baker said the two organizations wanted to partner up to make it a bigger, more inclusive event for the whole community.

“Our plan is that we would have it on every year that we have the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend,” Harger said. “I think this will become a tradition.”

On Sunday, Oct. 9, you can expect a scenic view of the water from the Semiahmoo Resort’s festival tent on Blaine Harbor, the central location for Oktoberfest. The large tent is set up near the water to recreate the German “beer hall feel,” said Emily Baker, guest services coordinator for Semiahmoo Resort.

Additionally, on Sunday, the festival will provide rides on their historic foot passenger Plover ferry at Blaine Harbor, Harger said. The ferry can hold about 20 passengers, and free rides will be available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in 20-minute intervals.

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