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Deutschland in Newark: OktoberFest 2016

Fall in Germany smells like autumn and, well, beer and sausage. On Saturday, September 24, the city of Newark will celebrate OktoberFest under the canopy of trees in its little corner of Germany known as Swiss Park. Originally a festival spanning many days and held in Bavaria with millions in attendance, it has spawned sister festivals all over the world from the celebrations birthplace of Munich.

The festival started in honor of the marriage of King Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxehildburghausen in the first decade of the 19th century and featured the racing of horses. Games, rides, Bavarian delicacies, and parades defined the gathering of locals. It then became a huge public event promoting agriculture and the inclusion of the larger public from yon and afar. In the parades, breweries lavishly decorated teams of horses; this is why to this day, the Budweiser Company retains a team of promotional Clydesdales based on the historical tradition.

Only during war times was the festival suspended in Germany. Now, it has evolved into the worlds largest Volkfest, or peoples fair, changing from a party for royals and the community to an outing that truly welcomes all walks of life including the LGBT community, families and children. And this marvelous tradition of enjoying the best things in life in a uniquely Saxon way is alive and well in Newark.

In the last decade or so, American culture has embraced the superior brew skills and subtle flavors of Europe. At the festival, many authentic German beers will be featured including Bitburger Pilsner, Köstritzer (a black lager), Benediktiner Bavarian, Hefeweizen, Lagerbier, Edelstoff Munich, and Maximator Doppelbock. Maximator is known as the best Doppelbock ever created by humans anywhere and its origin dates back to 1328.

Fun on two wheels at I Bike Union City

Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage growing up. However, biking is much more than an aerobic method of mobility Ð its a full-on art form for many people. Union City will once again celebrate the local bicycling culture with its 2nd annual I Bike Union City event on Saturday, September 24 at Kennedy Community Park.

A lot of bike clubs are coming out. Theres a ton of bikes out there that people want to showcase, said Maynard Estrellado, Union Citys Community and Recreation program coordinator. Indeed, the event coordinators anticipate close to 200 bicycles will show up this year. While the focus of the day might be on the sprawling showcase of bicycles, there will also be food and live entertainment for attendees to enjoy. Popular food truck Roll Revolution will be on hand with its unique brand of Asian Fusion cuisine, while four local artists rock the audience and get people dancing. An exciting martial arts demonstration by Dragons Den MMA is scheduled, along with a performance by El Ballet Folklórico de James Logan High School. We have a mix of music and community performance, Estrellado explained. I Bike plans to encompass a lot of cultures in its schedule of events.

Numerous types of bicycles will be cruising by this yearÕs event, from lowriders to choppers and many other kinds of specialized, custom bicycles. Get your bike into the showcase and contest for $5, where judges and attendees will assess each bicycle and vote for the best bikes in the East Bay. Bay Bombs, a car club that also dabbles in bicycles, has taken an active role in promoting the event and are even raffling off a bike this year, alongside gift baskets and other goodies.

Stone Age technology returns to Coyote Hills

Patience was the primitive toolmakers greatest resource. It took time to knap a blade or grind the edge of a stone adze. Once it was fashioned and put to use, however, the tool freed up time and energy that could be put to other purposes. Mechanical leverage was another important aspect of tool making. A hand axe, a blade fashioned from stone, in the hand of an experienced worker could chop through wood well enough, but mounting the tool to a handle gave leverage, and therefore increased force. Fields could be cleared of trees and plants more easily, substantially advancing the spread of agriculture.

The same was true for hunting weapons. A spear could be thrown with only so much force, but employing a lever, a specially designed throwing stick, extended the reach of the throwers arm, increasing the mechanical force and the weapons penetrating power. Such leverage was the advantage of using an atlatl of the kind attendees of the Stone Age Olympics will witness first-hand at Coyote Hills on September 25.

At the Stone Age Olympics, participants will get to experience the kinds of tools early humans used to hunt and to make fire. Participants can enter a spear throwing accuracy contest sanctioned by the International Standard Accuracy Contest (ISAC), the competitive arm of the World Atlatl Association. Plaques will be awarded in mens, womens, and youth divisions. Other hunting weapons, such as the rabbit stick (a boomerang-like tool used by some Native American tribes) and bolas will also be among the tools demonstrated. Fire making with hand drills and flintknapping fill out the program.

It's a Date!
Upcoming Events

September 24
Ohlone Village Site Tour

Coyote Hills Regional Park

September 21
Toddler Time $

Ardenwood Historic Farm

September 21
Decoupage Crafting

Newark Senior Center

September 21
Health and Wellness Seminar - R

Washington Hospital, Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Rm B

September 21
San Leandro Creek Trail Forum

California Conservatory Theater

September 22
Health and Wellness Seminar - R

Washington Hospital, Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Rm B

View More Upcoming Events

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