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Oktoberfest Veteran Julian Rey Saenz Returns—And Just a Helix Freshman

Share your favorite moments of the three-day La Mesa Village event by uploading your shots here.

Julian Rey Saenz didn't have a booth, but he fared well on La Mesa Boulevard during Oktoberfest, collecting $320 over three days in his guitar case in front of Handful of Wildflowers or the Goodwill store near Spring Street.

Not bad for a high school freshman with a six-string acoustic guitar who uses a bike to get around.

The veteran street performer—a regular at the Friday farmers markets and events like Christmas in the Village and Back to the '50s Car Show—played at his third Oktoberfest over the weekend.

An independent sort, he doesn't play with the Helix marching band or their ensembles, but he's looking forward to tennis season. He likes the Helix courts. The former College Prep Middle School student also goes by J-Rey, he says.

Julian, with his curly brown hair under a rakish hat, has become a popular addition to La Mesa Village events, singing pop songs and ballads of stars long gone.

Thousands of people packed the streets of the La Mesa Downtown Village for the city's annual celebration of brats, beers, babies and Bavarian culture.

Scores of food, service and product vendors greeted crowds for the 39th annual event sponsored by the La Mesa Village Merchants Association. And among it all, La Mesans have been snapping photos by the thousands. And we want to see them!

Upload your best shots from Oktoberfest, and contribute to our community photo gallery.

Deena While October 08, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I feel so sorry for All Things Bright and British who woke this morning to find a huge mess in front of their shop. That food court left behind an ugly mess of trash, grease splatters all over the ground, even a 5 gallon bucket of used cooking oil. It's frustrating that people come in, camp temporarily for three days, make their living, and then leave the village in a shambles....they do not deserve to be invited back.
Kevin George October 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Any attendance figures yet? I gauge the attendance by how many people park on my nearby street Friday through Sunday. Two years ago my street was packed end to end all day Saturday and Sunday. This year I only noticed two extra cars late on Saturday night. The first who left the quart liquor bottle in the gutter and the other that ran it over on the way out.
Craig Maxwell October 08, 2012 at 08:38 PM
To continue to pitch this event as an Oktoberfest is misleading, at best. It's devolved into little more than just one more loud, noisy, filthy street fair. I've been approached by five other merchants who asked if I thought the crowd looked "different" this year. Uh, yes, they did, and not for the better. Too bad.
Kevin George October 08, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Of course we old locals are spoiled, we remember " the good old days" thirty plus years ago when it was a truly a unique event. But Americas dedication to the principle of " Finding something that works well and doing it until it doesn't anymore" has once again brought us the lowest common denominator. I think we can finally place it on the mountainous pile of events that have been perfected out of existence.
Cbailey October 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Very disappointed with Oktoberfest I haven't been in a few years and was pretty shocked to see so many commercial vendors; what happened to all the original artists? So sad! Was there any real German food? I didn't see anyone performing anywhere.

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