Free Admission for Boktoberfest
Posted on July 20th, 2012 by Rebecca Thompson
Bok Tower Gardens will offer free admission and fun for the whole family from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during Boktoberfest on Saturday, October 20. This fourth annual plant sale has grown into a celebration that will feature a Biergarten with live entertainment, German food, craft and seasonal beers, face painting, a silent auction and more. New this year, members will get a sneak peek and an opportunity to purchase the plants on Friday, October 19.
“Boktoberfest celebrates the start of Florida’s gardening season,” explains David Price, president of the Gardens. “Plant lovers and gardeners will find a wide variety of Florida plants and learn from experts how to make the most of their gardens.”
Live music on Saturday will be provided by Jimmy and Eckhard German Oktoberfest Show, a three-member lederhosen ensemble performing authentic German music. Accordionist Jimmy Horzen sings and plays both piano and button accordions. Eckhard Wachsmuth hails from Stuttgart, Germany. He joins in the fun with vocals, yodeling, the Alpine Horn, Singing Saw, Wooden Laughter, Alpine Bells, Soup Spoons and the Musical Schnitzel Baster. Their show will include sing-alongs, the traditional “Ein Prosit” toast, the birdie dance, current Oktoberfest hits, lots of audience participation, polkas, waltzes, comedy and more.
Polka Party Express host Wackie Jackie will serve as the Mayor of Boktoberfest along with his wife Mrs. Wackie. Heard weekly on WSMR radio in Sarasota, Wackie will emcee the other entertainment including jazz guitarist David Smith, The Porchdogs and Juggles the Clown. Live half-hour concerts will be performed on the 60 bell Singing Tower carillon.
Activities for children will be available, and new to Boktoberfest is the addition of a petting zoo which will include a mini horse, cow, teacup pig, chickens, rabbits, goats and sheep. Face painting and air brush tattoos will be available for an additional fee. Pathfinder Outdoor Education will lead Family Tree Climbing for $12 a person for ages 6 and up. Juggles the Clown will also perform on the main stage.
More than 40 vendors will offer plants for sale including orchids, palms, olive trees, tropical fruits, Florida natives, ferns, bamboo, roses, heliconias, bromeliads, tillandsia air plants, water lilies and more. UF-IFAS Cooperative Extension Service agent emeritus, Tom MacCubbin, Florida’s foremost expert on lawn and garden issues will serve as the guest speaker.
The Blue Palmetto Café will prepare authentic German food including brats, Reuben sandwiches, German potato salad and more. Concessions will be available from Little Joe’s Grille located in the Biergarten and will include potato pancakes, bratwurst, chicken on a stick, Italian and Polish sausage, hot dogs, corn dogs, cabbage and noodles, veggie wraps, Greek options with tabouleh and hummus, funnel cake, desserts and more. A variety of keg and craft beers as well as wines, sodas and water will also be available.
Parking in the Gardens has been expanded, and free satellite parking will be provided by the First Assembly of God Church. Shuttle transportation will be available at stops along the entrance road. Carpooling is still strongly recommended. The Visitor Center, Blue Palmetto Café and Tower & Garden Gift Shop will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. while Pinewood Estate will offer self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 6:0 p.m. for $5.
For more information, please visit www.boktoberfest.com or call Bok Tower Gardens at 863-676-1408.