The music, food, vendors and, of course, beer will be flowing at the 40th Annual La Mesa Oktoberfest this year. City Council unanimously approved the special event permit at the meeting this week.
The three day event will run from 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5 and 12-5 p.m. Oct. 6. 200 booths are expected along La Mesa Boulevard with four food courts and a beer garden. Nebo Drive will feature live music plus and festivities will extend down Allison Avenue as well.
Councilmember Ruth Sterling pointed out that the carnival would be discontinued this year due to "safety concerns" that were roused in that area at last year's event. She said two extra security officers would be at the festival this year.
"The need to address safety concerns at the annual Oktoberfest is long overdue," said Mayor Art Madrid in his "State of the City" address in January. "Each year, calls from citizens and merchants to the City and Councilmembers for 'the City to do something' about the roving groups of young adults who choose to be disruptive in their behavior continue to increase."
La Mesa Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Mary England said they're being proactive with security this year, especially by adding security to beer garden and enacting a new rule that all people in the beer garden under 21 must be attended by someone over 21.
England said 42 jobs will be created during the fair and 177 volunteers will be helping out.
"It's a vital event for the Chamber, merchants and the city... Oktoberfest is synonymous with the city of La Mesa," said Sterling.
England also said the Chamber will be taking steps to make sure the cleanup after the festival is done correctly, there were some complaints from last year.