SUNNYSIDE — A little taste of Germany is coming to the neighborhood this Saturday, when Sunnyside Gardens Park hosts its annual Oktoberfest with pumpkin decorating, face painting and naturally, German beer.
Organizer Debra McGowan said that more than 2,000 people showed up last year and she expects even more local residents to participate this time around. More than 900 pumpkins were sold as well.
Annie Frisbie, who lives two blocks away from the park on 38th Avenue and 48th Street, is planning to come to the festival with her husband John and two daughters, 5-year old Beatrice and 2-year old Cora.
"We look forward to it every year," she said. "It's such a great family and neighborhood event."
The pumpkin patch is the festival's biggest attraction, where kids will have a chance to showcase their artistic talents while decorating pumpkins with paint, paper and sparkles.
"That's my daughter's favorite thing — to get a pumpkin, paint it and bring it home," Frisbie said. "We think that this year our 2-year old will also be able to paint her own pumpkin."
Kids will also compete in a chalk art competition.
There will be a story-telling tent, organized in party by Unity Stage, a local theater, and live music performances, including Richard Younger, a Sunnyside-based musician and entertainer for children. "He is an amazing performer and he really knows how to engage kids," McGowan said.
The event will also feature more than 20 local artisans who will host an arts and crafts show.
McGowan noted that local businesses donated many prizes and gift certificates to be raffled off.
Adults can celebrate Oktoberfest with traditional German beer and food, including sausages, potato salad and sauerkraut at the garden's picnic tables.
Admission is free and the event is open to the public. It starts at noon and ends at dusk.
Sunnyside Gardens Park is located at 48-21 39th Ave. (at 49th Street) in Sunnyside. The rain date is Oct. 7.