Raise your glass to Bay Ridge — and hold it hoooold it
Two local bierhalls will each host a stein-hoisting competition in honor of Oktoberfest — the 205-year-old celebration of some Bavarian prince’s wedding. Plus there are some younger (and arguably more neighborhood-relevant) traditions to look out for this weekend. Read on and get the lowdown faster than you can say “eins, zwei, drei, g’suffa!”
On Friday, waltz over to Schnitzel Haus (7319 Fifth Ave. between 73rd and 74th streets) at 9 pm, where the neighborhood’s home for all things Deutsche will see which rigid-armed Ridgite can hold a liter of beer above their head for the longest time. This is the best place in town to get a real German brew, so do not pass it up. Entry is $20, and if you place first or second, you will walk away with a glass boot.
On Saturday, welcome in fall Bay Ridge-style — and revel in pure schadenfreude as scores of little tykes in hobo clothes are paraded around for your amusement — during the annual Ragamuffin Parade, which runs along Third Avenue from 76th to 92nd streets. The kindermarsch steps off at 1 pm.
If you follow the parade to its end on Saturday, you will be two short blocks from Lock Yard (9221 Fifth Ave. between 92nd and 94th streets) and your next engagement with destiny (a.k.a. a sore arm). Sam Adams is hosting a hoisting at the one-stop shop for bier und brats at 4 pm. Sure, Sam Adams was an English guy, and the beer is made in Boston, but the company owner’s German surname — Koch — earns them a pass. There is no entry fee, so you just have to pay to fill your mug — and the man and woman who can hold out the longest each win a Sam Adams stein.
On Sunday, remember to check out the Third Avenue Festival (between 69th and 92nd streets). Oktoberfest continue until Oct. 4, so try to find one of the 3,500 Germans who, according to census-takers, live in Bay Ridge and knock back a liter with them at your favorite Third Avenue dive.