Why do I have to buy a $2.00 wristband?

Technically, you don’t! Oktoberfest is a free community event that doesn’t have a cover charge. Bring the kids, grab a bratwurst and a soda and enjoy the music. However, to cover the cost of security required to monitor our alcohol service, all patrons over 21 that choose to partake are required to present valid ID and purchase a wristband for a one time fee of $2.00.  You can buy wristbands at any of the locations selling beer.

Can’t I just bring my own beer and food?

Unfortunately no. Bigham Knoll Campus is a privately held business, not a city funded park. All food and liquor is licensed and authorized through preferred vendors only. Anyone bringing outside food or alcohol will be asked to either return the items to their car or appropriately dispose of it. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Why is Oktoberfest in September?

The short answer: because it’s still great weather and that’s just what the German’s do. The long answer: https://abcnews.go.com/Business/oktoberfest-start-september/story?id=25635651

In Germany I don’t have to be 21 to drink beer so technically I can drink beer here too right?

Nice try, but no. Although we like to think of ourselves as an authentic slice of Germany right here in Southern Oregon, we have yet to be approved for diplomatic immunity. But hey! Grab a root beer and take a seat, we’d love to hear about your German adventures.

Jacksonville’s pretty small and there’s a lot of cars here. Where should I park?

Jacksonville has plenty of parking, it just likes to play hide and seek (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?!). So let’s start with the disclaimer- DO NOT PARK ON THE SIDE OF A CITY STREET. While the JVPD appreciate our assistance with funding our public services, seeing a ticket on your windshield can be a downer at the end of the day. General rule of thumb- don’t park on or near a sidewalk. Now that we’ve taken care of the risk takers in the crowd, where should everyone else park? We offer on site parking at the festival. A $5.00 donation going 100% to Rogue Valley Rotary After 5. (Come on, it’s 5 bucks and it goes to a good cause, like fighting worldwide polio and childhood hunger right here in the Rogue Valley). However, if the lot is full (or you really need that $5 for a beer later), we highly recommend you park in either the Jacksonville Elementary School parking lot or the City of Jacksonville parking lot. Both are approximately a 4.13 minute walk away and are a straight shot to the event.  Better yet, skip the parking and take an Uber or Lyft!

I don’t like beer or puppies? Do you have anything else for me?

Well in light of the unforgivable sin of not liking puppies we’re hard pressed to forgive the beer one. But just in case you’re one of those few who doesn’t like beer but still likes puppies we do have other options for you. There’s a couple of ciders on tap throughout the property, our own estate wine in the wine garden and plenty of hard liquor options up in the restaurant bar. Oh and Jager! Lots of Jager!

Speaking of puppies, can I bring mine?

Yep! Bigham Knoll and Oktoberfest are fully dog friendly. We do ask that they are well behaved, social and on a leash (a willingness to be pet by strangers is preferred but not required). However, at this time due to the anti-dog/pro-cat lobbying campaign in congress we still can’t allow pets in the restaurant.

What exactly is hammerschlagen?

Simply put? You have a log and some nails and a hammer. Your job is to hammer that nail into that log without missing. You miss? Take a drink… of water, or soda, or whatever your responsible beverage of choice is at the moment. The one with the most nails at the end is the winner (the end is really a subjective term here- when you get bored, need a refill, get a blister etc. Point is, you decide when you’ve reached the end).

I haven’t finished my beer, can I take it with me?

We are an open campus. You can take your drink with you as you walk around. However open container laws don’t extend to city property, drink it or dump it before you leave campus. Just a PSA… did you know that open container laws in Oregon are determined on a city by city basis? Hood River is way ahead of the curve! Probably not happening in our neck of the woods anytime soon, but there’s always hope!

Payday isn’t for another week, do you take credit cards?

We sure do. Most booths have a credit card line, but be prepared to wait a little longer. If you’d prefer to pay cash but you ran out of $20s, don’t worry, we have an ATM on site as well.

So what’s the back story? Who runs Oktoberfest and what do you do with all the funds?

Jacksonville’s Oktoberfest began 12 years ago- started in celebration of the soon to be open Schoolhaus Brewhaus. It was a small and quaint gathering of about 250 people in the old schoolhouse gym (we call it the ballroom now). Over the years Oktoberfest has definitely grown (a couple thousand attendees now!), but we still like to think of it as a small and quaint community celebration. As the festival grew so did the financial burden and the necessity to bring in volunteers and the organizations behind those volunteers. Thanks to our sponsors we can afford to provide music all day free of charge. Cub Scout Pack 17 runs the cow train. The funds raised from the bratwurst competition go to the Jacksonville Fire Department. Rogue Valley Rotary After Five oversees parking and also staff’s many of the festival booths. And lastly, at the end of the day anything left goes directly to the Jacksonville Heritage Society, a non-profit dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Jacksonville’s pioneer heritage through education, outreach and maintenance. So, drink up! Guilt free, knowing every beer, sausage and pretzel is going to a good cause.