By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE - While the smell of autumn is slowly starting to drift through the air, it will soon be joined by the smells of bratwurst and sauerkraut, as the 10th annual Port St. Lucie Oktoberfest takes place from Oct. 5-7 at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center.
"This is the first year we have expanded to a three-day festival," said Joe Glass, president of the German American Club of the Treasure Coast.
The event will be held outside, and this is the third year it has been at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center.
The first Oktoberfest was held in the same location for 10 years, before the civic center was built in what was formerly the Village Green Shopping Center. Mr. Glass, who was president of the club at that time as well, did all the cooking for the event.
This is a celebration of German culture and the club and city of Port St. Lucie have teamed up to bring lots of music, food, dancing and activities for people of all ages.
"Last year, we had more than 7,000 people attend," Mr. Glass said. "More and more people come every year."
Musical talent includes the Bob Houston band, the Alpine folk dancers, the Daum Band and the group The Bavaria.
"We made our children's area bigger, and added more rides," Mr. Glass said.
And don't forget the food. A variety of food booths offering authentic German cuisine will be available.
"This year, we've added German potato salad," Mr. Glass said.
There will be an opening ceremony every day of the event, complete with a parade of flags and the ceremonial tapping of the keg.
The festival will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 5, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 6 and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 7. Admission to the event and parking is free.
The civic center is located at 9221 S.E. Civic Center Place in Port St. Lucie. For more information, call (772) 878-2277.