WILMINGTON The biggest foliage party in the region gets underway next week weekend at Whiteface Mountain.
The 16th annual Whiteface Oktoberfest celebration takes place on Sept. 29-30. Oktoberfest activities will include original vendors, arts and crafts, childrens rides including the popular hayride, a ski/ride gear sale, mini-rail jam, Bavarian food, drink and entertainment.
For those looking forward to the winter skiing season, a ski/ride gear sale will take place, ORDA spokesman Sandy Caligiore said. The sale, new this year, features local ski shops. These stores will have merchandise available for purchase throughout the weekend.
Returning this year is the popular mini-rail jam which features a 16-foot and 28-foot flat box. There are two rail jams each day, one at 10 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. The 10 a.m. rail jam features a 16-foot flat box and the 2 pm features a 28-foot flat box. The rail jam is free with the festival admission. All participants must wear a helmet and those under 18 years of age need guardian permission.
The band Die Schlauberger will make its yearly trek to Whiteface and perform under the red tent outside the base lodge. Also performing will be the Lake Placid Bavarians, Ed Schenk on the accordion, Die Lustigen Almdudler, popular juggler Stephen Gratto and others. The Schwarzenegger Connection and United German Hungarian Schuhplattlers are making their first Oktoberfest appearance. The Cloudspin Lounge will feature Schachtelgebirger Musikanten (Scha-Musi).
The Cloudsplitter Gondola ride will bring visitors and residents alike to the summit of Little Whiteface for stunning views of the Adirondack foliage. The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway will also be in operation enabling visitors to journey to the top of the states fifth highest peak.
Oktoberfest event allows people to celebrate the natural fall beauty of the area and the season. The scenic Cloudsplitter gondola ride offers riders a spectacular view of the foliage in the mountains, said ORDA representative Stephanie Ryan.
Oktoberfest will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A complimentary shuttle service will be provided both days. Departure from the Olympic Center Box Office in Lake Placid takes place at 11 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm. The bus will depart Whiteface and return to Lake Placid at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The shuttle will also service Wilmington with stops at the Candyman, located on the corner of Routes 86 and 431, at noon and 5:30 p.m.
Daily admission for adults is $11 for the festival; $19 for the festival and a scenic gondola ride. The junior and senior price is $6 for the festival and $14 for both. Children six years of age and under are admitted free of charge.
ORDA continues the celebration of fall with the annual Flaming Leaves Festival at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex October 6-7. This blues, brews and barbequed-themed festival features live bands, ski jumping competitions, petting zoo with pony rides, a rail jam, vendors, and more. Centerplate, ORDAs concessionaire, will offer brews and cook up some great barbequed food throughout the day.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. both days. The 90-meter ski jump competition starts at noon. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for juniors/seniors and includes a scenic chairlift and elevator ride to the Sky Deck atop the 120-meter ski jump tower.
Olympic Sites Passports will be honored for admission at either festival.Whiteface Mountain is operated by The New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).
For more information on ORDA venues and events, and for web cams from five locations, please log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com .