San Bernardino County Fairgrounds Kicks Off First Oktoberfest with School Competitions



By Janice Eck

Photos by Janice Eck

(Victorville)– Festivals where men dressed in lederhosens and women in Bavarian costumes drinking craft beer to polka music are common all over the country in the month of October, so it was just a matter of time for the High Desert to welcome their very own Oktoberfest. What better place than the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds? Wanting to make the High Desert’s Oktoberfest different from all the others, Jennifer Monter, Year Round Events & Competitive Exhibits Supervisor, came up with unique challenges for Victor Valley’s youth that would be on display for years to come.

“I was thinking of decorations for the grounds and I thought scarecrows,” Monter shared with High Desert Daily. “I ended up with 21 scarecrows and 6 photo walls. The photo walls were only open to high schools.”


Schools were required to sport their school t-shirts on their scarecrows. First place went to Crystal Elementary for their robotics scarecrow that spins and lights up. Second place was Lucerne Valley Middle School’s with their cancer awareness theme.

Monter went on to say, “Victorville Motors sponsored these contests. We were able to supply the schools with the stick frames [for the scarecrows]. We have a lot more elementary and middle schools than high schools, so we were able to mass produce. For the photo walls, we provided the 8′ x 4′ pieces of plywood to the high schools. I’ve gone to fairs and I’ve always thought ‘We need to have these,’ so this is a smaller scale.” Victorville Motors’ generous sponsorship also enabled cash prizes for the contests.


Monter’s focus on getting schools involved with the competitions is a refreshing change. School competitions have been fading away for years and Monter hopes to revive that spirit at least in the High Desert. “I want to get schools more involved. I don’t think teachers, principals, TA’s and all realize what the fair industry can offer to the youth. 9 out of 10 times, when I talk about these kinds of exhibits, they don’t know about them.” Monter hopes people from schools who weren’t involved in the contests will see the scarecrows and the photo walls and wonder why their school wasn’t involved and will drive them to get involved next year.

Celebrate Oktoberfest from the 23rd – 25th. Parking is $5. Admission is $5 including concerts and exhibits. Check out the scariest Haunted House in the High Desert after hopping on a few rides. Enjoy fall carnival flair with deep fried pumpkin pie, pumpkin funnel cake, pumpkin spiced kettle corn and so much more.

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