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Long Island Oktoberfest Events 2017

The centuries-old, 16-day traditional German festival known as Oktoberfest starts Sept. 16 in Munich, but those unable to fly to Bavaria for it can join in the beer-soaked festivities on Long Island.

From authentic German restaurants serving up mouthwatering Bavarian delicacies such as sauerbraten to massive outdoor festivals under tents big enough to fit a circus, there are dozens of Oktoberfest-themed events across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Sure, a few on this list are local pubs offering special Oktoberfest menus and others are simply fall-themed pumpkin beer and cider parties, but they’re all worth raising a glass to!

Oktoberfest
Fest biers, a Ceremonial barrel, traditional German accordian tunes and dinner specialties. This traditional Beer Garten offers German and craft beer, and is known for their award winning Pig Wings. They serve 24 beers on tap, and 19 bottled beers. Prost Grill and Garten, 652 Franklin Ave., Garden City. prostgrill.com Sept. 16.

Ompahfest
Celebration of German-American heritage with lots of music including bands from Germany and Austria. Plattduetsche Park Restaurant and Biergarten 1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square. Plattduetschevoksfestvereen.org $10. 11 a.m. Sept. 17.

Oktoberfest
Authentic Bavarian restaurant serving German specialties. Performance by accordionist Frank Rapuano. Oak Chalet, 1940 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore. oakchalet.net Prices vary. 6-9 p.m. every Thurs., Sept. 21-Oct. 26, plus Weds. Oct. 11 & 25.

10th Annual Oktoberfest
German beers under a giant Oktoberfest tent. Buy a beer, get a free one-liter stein. German food, music and stein-holding contest. TJ Finley’s, 42 East Main St., Bay Shore. tjfinleys.com 3-9 p.m. Sept. 16.

Oktoberfest
This authentic Bavarian Biergarten billed as “home of Das Boot” will have BB & The Polkas performing, plus raffles, giveaways, a special menu and, of course, German beer. Das Biergarten, 1148 West Beech St., Long Beach. dasbiergarten.com 12 p.m. Sept. 23.

Oktoberfest at Resurrection Lutheran Church
A day of German festivity to benefit the missions of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. Seven-piece Oktoberfest band die Schlauberger provides the music, the church provides the German food. Beer and wine purchased separately. Advance tickets sold thru Sept. 22, $35 for adults, $10 per children ages 4-12. Children under 3 are free. Day-of tickets are $45 at the door. Resurrection Lutheran Church, 420 Stewart Avenue, Garden City. 
6:30-10:30 p.m. Sept. 23.

Oktoberfest at Black Forest Brewhaus
A nearly month-long celebration of Oktoberfest including German food, beer, and music every day. Artists include Die Spitzbaum, Frank Rapuano, Bud & Linda, the Austrian Boys, and the Bratwurst Boys. Black Forest Brewhaus, 2015 New Highway, Farmingdale. Sept. 29-Oct. 21.

9th annual Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Oktoberfest
Support this camp for disabled children at their 9th annual Oktoberfest celebration hosted by the Rotary Club of the Moriches. Festivities include traditional German food, vendors, and live entertainment. $10 admission includes a complimentary beer or soda for anyone age 21 and over and goes to benefit Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck. Free entry for anyone under 21 and a carnival for the kids. Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, 2 Chet Swezey Rd., Center Moriches. 6-11 p.m. Sept. 29, 12-11 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 1.

Oktoberfest at the Mansion
A weekend Oktoberfest celebration including German food and seasonal craft beers. Music from Eddie Forman and Josek Kroboth. Contests held by Sam Adams on Saturday and Sunday. Broadcast live with Uwe Riggers, host of 90.3 FM’s German Hit Parade. Family fest on Sunday with face painting, a clown, and shuplatter dancers. Glen Cove Mansion, 200 Dosoris Ln., Glen Cove. GlenCoveMansion.com $60 all you can eat and drink 1-8 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Oktoberfest Celebration
Dine on beer-glazed bratwurst, sauerbraten and German chocolate cake, and wash it all down with German-style brews in a communal atmosphere. Post Office Café, 130 West Main St., Babylon. lessings.com Prices Vary. Oct. 5-7.

Oktoberfest Celebration
A special Oktoberfest menu will be available, featuring Bavarian pretzel bites, sauerbraten sliders, potato soup, slow-cooked German short ribs, wurst platter and more! Maxwell’s, 501 Main St., Islip. lessings.com Prices vary. Oct. 5-7.

Oktoberfest
Folksbier will be providing the entertainment. Hoptron Brewtique, 22 West Main St., Pachogue. hoptronbrewtique.com 4-10 p.m. Oct. 7.

Oktoberfest
Featuring tractor rides, a pumpkin maze, live music, German food and beverages, bounce houses and vendors. Eisenhower Park Kite Field, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. nassaucountyny.gov Free. 12–5 p.m. Oct. 7-9.

PumpkinFest
More than 20 different varieties of pumpkin beers on tap and casks including local brews from Long Ireland, Fire Island Beer Co., Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and Blue Point Brewing Co. First 200 guests drink out of mini-pumpkins. TJ Finley’s, 42 East Main St., Bay Shore. tjfinleys.com Free. 6 p.m., Oct. 14.

Oktoberfest Montauk 2017
Zum Schneider Bavarian Bierhaus and German Restaurant in Montauk invites you to come enjoy pork shank, broiled chicken, giant pretzels and a host of different imported Oktoberfest beers on two separate weekends in October. Music from Mosl Franzi and the JaJaJas from 2-11. Zum Schneider, 4 South Elmwood Ave., Montauk. ZumSchneider.com Oct. 14, 15, 21 & 22

Punktoberfest
Great South Bay Brewery holds their annual punk rock themed Oktoberfest celebration in their tasting room, in the brewery, and beneath an outdoor beer tent. Five TBA live bands, local vendors, brewers and several food trucks. Great South Bay Brewery, 25 Drexel Dr., Bay Shore. GreatSouthBayBrewery.com 1:30-5:30 p.m. Oct. 21.

Oktoberfest
Jaeger Schnitzel, apple strudel and other German menu items and beer. Library Café, 274 Main St., Farmingdale. lessings.com Sept. 28-30.

Oktoberfest Sunday! Music Fest
Enjoy homegrown food and home-brewed libations, including Roasted sweet corn and squash, fresh-squeezed lemonade, organic hot dogs and more. Plenty of family entertainment including hayrides, family fun fields, pedal kart track, maze, lavender labyrinth, farm animals, and pumpkin picking. Buddy Merriam and the Backroads provide live bluegrass music. Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market, 4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 10-5 p.m. Oct. 29.

Lawn Island Farms: Babylon Couple Turns Yards Into Crops

Jim and Rosette Adams of Babylon are on a mission to bring locally grown food to Long Islanders tables, by growing it in their front yards.  

The Adams’ fledgling company, Lawn Island Farms, has been growing produce and selling it to farmer’s markets and local businesses for about a year, but their unique approach has attracted national media attention. They tout the health benefits of locally grown vegetables.

“Unfortunately too many people don’t even realize how corrupted or compromised [their produce is],” Jim said, noting cancer-causing pesticides as one of the most pressing concerns related to factory farming.   

Jim got the idea for the company after he met his wife, Rosette, in her home country of Uganda 10 years ago. There, he came to appreciate how she grew up in a culture of self-sustained farming. 

“She has the experience from growing up in Uganda and I got to see, kind of, the world through her eyes when she came here and that changed me a lot,” Jim said. 

This fresh perspective also alerted Jim to the perils of not knowing exactly where our food is coming from and how it’s being produced. After reading The Urban Farmer, he was inspired to begin farming locally. The book details how people can convert their property into a sustainable and profitable food source. 

“There are over 40 million acres of lawn in North America,” the book’s website states. “In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity.”

Jim and Rosette brought this idea to Jack Jack’s Coffee House in Babylon, where owners Mike Sparacino and Vanessa Viola pointed them to a community farm behind St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, effectively giving them the idea to launch Lawn Island Farms. 

The Adams’ then hung a sign in that same coffee shop asking for anyone with enough land to let them convert their lawns into crops, which led them to Bay Shore resident Cassandra Trimarco.  

For the price of $30 of produce a week as well as free landscaping, Ms. Trimarco allowed the Adams’ to transform the front lawn of her Hyman Avenue home into a miniature farm. The reactions of the community were varied, with some neighbors complaining that the lawn was now an eyesore. 

“We did get, in the beginning, a lot of gossip going around,” Jim said of the initial controversy surrounding the converted lawn. But that attention was what would eventually raise their profile. 

“That’s when CBS News and Fox came by,” he recalled. “That was the story, because it was controversial.” 

Currently, the Adams’ hyper-local farming endeavor consists of the land behind St. Peter’s and Trimarco’s yard, with the produce being sold to the Bay Shore Farmer’s Market and the Sayville Farmer’s Market, as well as Henley’s Village Tavern in Bay Shore, Empowering Goods in Lindenhurst, as well as Jack Jack’s, where it all began.    

Jim and Rosette have also begun to take a more tech savvy approach to their business. Lawn Island Farms can now be found on the Farmzie app, which seeks to create a network of small farmers and increase small farm sustainability. Users can connect to Lawn Island and buy produce directly from them. They also offer restaurants a grow-to-order option in order to better suit their specific needs.  

Lawn Island Farms’ approach to local farming has garnered interest from people all over the island, with inquiries coming in from Patchogue, Port Jeff, Middle Island, Wading River and elsewhere. But at the moment, the Adams’ simply can’t meet the demand on their own. 

“My plate is full, I’ve gotten a lot of offers which is amazing, but I hardly have time to even go look at them,” Jim said of the outpouring of requests they’ve received. That’s why they want others to take action and begin growing food on their own. 

“I want more people to do it, because it’s not just about us and our business,” he said. “It’s about local food for the people.”

To learn more about converting your lawn into a sustainable food source check out the website of Jim and Rosette’s friend Linda Borghi, Farm-A-Yard.com 

18 Times Rock History Was Made on Long Island

Doors
The Doors have a few moments in local rock history.

There is certain music lore that is common knowledge: Billy Joel went to Hicksville High School, Paul McCartney likes to spend his summers out in the Hamptons, Lou Reed grew up in Freeport.

But here are a few bits of our Island’s rock music history that many may not have known.

Bring these tidbits to your next Jones Beach tailgate and use them to distract that guy selling bootleg t-shirts while you plan your escape.

18. Frampton Comes to Town
On Aug.24, 1975, British rock star Peter Frampton recorded the live version of “Show Me the Way” that appears on the album Frampton Comes Alive! during a gig at the now-defunct Long Island Arena in Commack. The album went eight times platinum and yielded multiple hit singles that remain classic rock radio staples to this day. “Show Me the Way” charted at No. 6, making it the biggest among them. The most interesting part? Frampton wasn’t even headlining, he was one of two opening acts for blues-rock band Ten Years After.

17. Who Does That?
The Who played Long Island Arena a number of years before Mr. Frampton, but with decidedly less triumphant results. After their set, a herd of fans stormed their dressing room and began pilfering all of the trendy mod clothing they had hanging around, even going so far as to pluck the gold spangles from guitarist Pete Townshend’s matador suit while he was still wearing it.

16. The Stones in Montauk
In preparation for their 1975 American tour, the Rolling Stones hid out in Montauk, holding late-night rehearsals and disturbing the locals with their decadent lifestyles. During their stay, they gained the inspiration for their famous song “Memory Motel”. But it wasn’t at the Memory Motel where Mick and the boys spent their nights. It was at the Montauk Church Estate of pop artist Andy Warhol, which they rented for $5,000 a month.

15. Groovin’ on The Barge
New Jersey-based blue-eyed soul band The Rascals had a number of hit singles in the 1960s, including “Good Lovin”, “Groovin” and “People Got to Be Free”, which all went to No. 1 on the Billboard music charts. But in the summer of ’65, before they ever hit the charts, they were best known as the house band on The Barge, a floating nightclub on Shinnecock Bay in East Quogue.

14. Up In Smoke
The Vagrants, featuring Long Island Music Hall of Famer Leslie West of Mountain, spent that same summer down the road as the house band for The Castaway in Hampton Bays, but it wasn’t until they took a residency in Island Park’s The Action House in 1966 that things became list-worthy. The mob-connected Action House was paying The Vagrants an exorbitant $1,500-a-night fee for a grueling 28-day-a-month schedule. This led the garage rockers to get creative with their performances. They incorporated pyrotechnics into their act, having fireworks explode as one of their songs reached its peak. One night after a performance, however, a leftover explosive wound up torching the stage along with all of the band’s instruments. This somehow did not throw them off schedule; the booking agency had them equipped with new instruments and ready to play the very next day.

13. Groan of The Lizard King
The following year, The Doors came to The Action House for a two-night stint and brought with them all the rock & roll debauchery they are remembered so fondly for. Singer Jim Morrison reportedly commanded the bartender to procure 15 shots of Jack Daniel’s prior to taking the stage. He consumed them all. Sometime during the set, Morrison ordered up another 15 shots and put them away with ease. At this point the Lizard King began to show signs of heavy intoxication and, before being dragged off stage by his bandmates, he attempted to remove his clothes, a wild party trick that got him arrested at a Miami concert that same year. The following day was even uglier: the band had to remove Jim from the stage once more, this time after a prolonged period of groaning into the microphone that he had crammed into his mouth.

12. The House of The Jim Morrison Boogie
The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett is nationally known for its unique ability to attract some of music’s most legendary figures into its tiny 200 person main room. Rock luminaries such as Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Sting, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, David Crosby and countless others have all performed there. Things got particularly wild one night when Eric Burdon of the Animals was performing and the entire bar, spurred on by the owner himself, did the Jim Morrison Boogie and got totally naked. Not to be outperformed, Eric Burdon joined in on the festivities, turning “The House of the Rising Sun” into the Talkhouse of the falling skivvies.

11. Not Just A Learning Institution
SUNY Stony Brook University is one of Long Island’s best venues for higher learning. But it was once one of the best venues for great rock music as well. The list of bands that played on campus in the late ’60s and early ’70s is its own lesson in rock ‘n’ roll history. The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Santana, The Allman Brothers, Joni Mitchell, U2, even the godfather of rock himself, Chuck Berry, have all plugged in at the university at one time or another.

10. Jimi’s Double Premiere
The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their one and only gig at Stony Brook University on March 9, 1968. That same day their legendary front man made his debut on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine issue no. 7. This was the only time Hendrix would play on Long Island, but it wasn’t his last Rolling Stone cover, he’s had 16 to date.

9. New Name, Same Sound
Ever hear of The New Bohemians? If not, it’s probably because the Huntington-based ska band sold their name to Paul Simon’s wife, Edie Brickell, for $500 in 1988. Instead you know them as The Scofflaws. The newly branded third-wavers used the money to buy themselves some real instruments and equipment and it was upward from there. As for the new New Bohemians? That same year they went on to record “What I Am”, a one hit wonder that peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

8. VU on LI
As previously mentioned, it is well known that legendary musician Lou Reed grew up in Freeport, but did you know that some of his Velvet Underground bandmates are also Long Islanders? Original guitarist Sterling Morrison grew up in East Meadow and drummer Mo Tucker was raised in Levittown. Their massively influential rock group gained notoriety in the late 60s with the help of none other than the Rolling Stones’ landlord himself, Andy Warhol.

7. Zappa Gets Burned
In 1968, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention opened for Long Island’s own psychedelic rockers Vanilla Fudge at Westbury Music Fair. The ever-irreverent Mothers entered the theater in white hooded robes playing eerie dissonant sounds on various woodwind instruments. The crowd was understandably disturbed by this, prompting one audience member to shout out: “Yous guys stink, bring on The Fudge!”

6. Farewell, Frank
Speaking of Frank Zappa, the final North American show he played before his death in 1993 was on Long Island. On March 25, 1988, he took the stage at Nassau Coliseum in what would be his last gig on this side of the Atlantic. Highlights of the show included a rendition of classical composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Royal March” accompanied by the Long Island Ballet and not one but two encores alongside Frank’s son Dweezil that included covers of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers and, finally and fittingly, a soulful, Zappa-fied performance of “America the Beautiful.”

5. The Dead Comes Alive!
The Grateful Dead hold the record for most shows at Nassau Coliseum at 42. Some of those notoriously epic shows have been preserved for posterity in their 2002 album Go to Nassau and their 2014 album Wake Up to Find Out. The final track on Go to Nassau is a more than seven minute long version of “Good Lovin”, a tune made popular by The Barge’s old house band, The Rascals.

4. Axl Gets Bent
Guns ‘n’ Roses were slated to perform at Nassau Coliseum on June 17,1991 at the reasonable hour of 9:00 pm, but mercurial front man Axl Rose had other plans. The temperamental but talented singer decided to stay out west to party in the city, leaving management no choice but to fly him in via helicopter in order to get the band on stage right around the same time that parents of young fans were arriving to pick them up.

3. Doin’ Time on the Island
When Vans Warped Tour first came to Uniondale in 1995, its aim was to provide fans with an alternative to music festivals like Lollapalooza that were more entrenched in the mainstream sounds of the time. What they didn’t realize was that they were giving concert goers a glimpse at a man who would one day become a mythical musical figure: Bradley Nowell. The Sublime guitarist and front man played his one and only Long Island show that day. He would tragically die of a heroin overdose less than one year later, just as the band was set to release the eponymous album that would catapult them into the pantheon of rock music.

2. A Lovin’ Homage
Folk-Rock pioneers The Lovin’ Spoonful have some roots on Long Island. Drummer Joe Butler met bassist Steve Boone in Westhampton and formed their original band The Kingsmen in 1963. After becoming a mainstream success as The Lovin’ Spoonful they still found their way out east to party with the likes of Steven Stills and Mama Cass, and in ’66 they immortalized their love for the East End on the final track of their album Daydream entitled “Big Noise From Speonk.”

1. See Floyd Play
Pink Floyd has been known to extend the boundaries of rock music into the visual realm, both with their elaborately orchestrated live performances and in films like ’82’s The Wall and ’83’s The Final Cut. But it wasn’t until 1989 that they brought both mediums together with Delicate Sound of Thunder. This multi-platinum concert film, consisting primarily of performances from a string of five straight nights at Nassau Coliseum in August of ‘88, was made during their Momentary Lapse of Reason tour.

Hallock State Park Preserve Debuts on Long Island

Officials marked the grand opening of Hallock State Park Preserve on the North Fork this week, making it the first New York State Park to be added to Long Island in years.

The park’s facilities include a 3,000-square-foot visitor center with a classroom and interactive educational displays as well as new hiking and equestrian trails, fishing, non-motor-powered boating and even scuba diving. The 225-acre plot of land was originally purchased from Keyspan Energy for $16 million in 2003, but wasn’t officially opened to the public until Tuesday.

“Good things come in good time,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the New York State parks department, told those gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The park is the 27th state park on LI, but is only one of four on the Island that have the distinction of being a park preserve, which offers the highest level of protection in the state parks system.

“Opening Hallock State Park Preserve reflects the history of the area and the Hallock family, who owned the property for centuries, and is the last piece of this momentous preservation effort,” said Suffolk County Legis. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue).

“It’s really half the game to save the land,” added Harvey. “So now how are we going to develop it?”

That question was answered in part by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Parks 2020 initiative, which seeks to allocate $900 million over seven years to the restoration and beautification of all 215 of state parks.

The initiative provided $2 million to the Hallock State Park’s development. The Trust for Public Land donated another $2 million as well as a $1 million that will go toward operating costs.

The visitor center was developed with a focus on environmental sustainability, using geo-thermal heating and cooling, cutting edge nitrogen-reducing sanitary wastewater treatment in the restrooms and high-efficiency LED lighting throughout the facility, officials said.

“This is an exciting day for all of us, the newest state park in the oldest state parks system in the country,” said Brian Erwin, chairman of Long Island State Parks Commission. “My little girls, who are sitting there, when they start to travel and someone asks them, ‘tell me about the North Fork, tell me about your agricultural history, tell me about the beauty, tell me about your maritime tradition, tell me about the new methods and how you’re mindful of the environment, tell me about sustainable farms,’ they can come right here, to the old North Road, to Hallock State Park Preserve.”

Hallock State Park Preserve is located at 6062 Sound Ave. in Jamesport. For more information, call 631-323-2440 or visit parks.ny.gov/parks