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Festivals

Our three German/Austrian culture Fests—Maifest, Sommerfest, and Kinderfest—are held annually in May, July, and September, and are not to be missed.

If you love to dance, there's always a lively band playing folk and popular music. Featured dancers in traditional dress perform Schuhplattler and other dances popular at Oktoberfest and seasonal festivals in Bavaria and Austria. Special games, dances, and activities are planned for Kinder (children) at Kinderfest.

Nature Friends Schuhplattler  •  Photo by Susanne FriedrichFacade with Bäuerliche Malerei, traditional folk paintingPhoto by Rob VillanuevaBier vom FassWürste, Kasseler Rippchen (smoked pork chops), Sauerkraut, red cabbageBrezeln (Pretzels)Bratwurst Grill
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Add to that a menu of authentic German/Austrian foods, and of course, excellent imported and domestic beers and other drinks, and you have a fun-filled day that is sehr gemütlich for all ages.

Festivals are held at our beautiful Mt. Tamalpais alpine lodge, built by members over 100 years ago, and decorated with Bäuerlicher Malerei. The lodge is situated in the redwoods just above Muir Woods National Monument, and has wonderful views of the California Coast Ranges and surrounding area.

Don't forget to wear your Lederhosen, Dirndl, Tirolerhut, or other Tracht (traditional attire) to join in the spirit of the Fest!

Festival Information

Maifest, Sunday, May 19, 2019
Sommerfest, Sunday, July 21, 2019
Kinderfest, Sunday, September 15, 2019

Location

San Francisco Tourist Club, Mill Valley, Marin County, California
Reaching our lodge requires a Spaziergang from a trailhead or our parking lot, but is worth it! See Directions.

Tickets

Adult guests 18 and over:  $20 (plus online credit card processing)
Under 18:  No charge and no ticket required

  • Guest tickets to the Fests are available online only. When tickets are available to purchase, we will post an update on our News page and on our Calendar. Once online tickets sell out, there will be no additional guest tickets available at the gate on the day of the Fest. We do not maintain a waiting list.
  • Ticket purchasers do not need to bring a printed ticket or receipt. Check in with a photo ID at admissions when you arrive.
  • Admission tickets are non-refundable and all sales are final.
  • Admission price covers admission only to the Festival. Food, drink, and merchandise require separate purchases.
  • We do not accept credit cards, debit cards, electronic transfers, or checks at the Tourist Club on the day of the event. There is no ATM on the premises.
  • No re-entry to the Fest.
  • The Fest goes on, rain or shine!

Guest Rules

It is the responsibility of every guest to the Tourist Club to be familiar with and to abide by our Guest Rules, including the rules listed below.

  • Each Fest attendee must possess valid ID proving legal age to purchase or consume beer or wine.
  • No outside food or alcoholic beverages are permitted.
  • The dance floor and walkways are to be kept clear of people, blankets, ground covers, and paraphernalia during events.
  • No dogs are allowed at the Fest.

Getting to the Fest

Whenever possible, please hike in, take the bus, or share rides to the club, as parking is very limited in our parking lot and in the surrounding communities along Ridge Avenue and Panoramic Highway. See directions for more information.

If you do drive and park near the club, be very careful to park completely off the road in a legal parking place, and not to block driveways or means of ingress and egress. Rangers and local police authorities issue tickets to vehicles parked illegally or unsafely.

Please be careful walking along Panoramic Highway and other streets. We want you to arrive and leave safely.

Access

Our more than 100 year-old property has numerous staircases, uneven steps, and dirt trails, and is not ADA accessible. It can be challenging for the infirm, those with perambulators (baby carriages), and anyone who wishes to avoid steep and narrow, rocky trails. A shuttle is available during festivals from the lodge to our Ridge Avenue parking lot beginning at 3pm. The shuttle is for the disabled and infirm only.

Fest Tips

  • Families with children, and those who wish to take a break from the crowds and music, can enjoy our meadow. Bring a blanket for the grass.
  • We try to offer vegetarian options for sausages, salads, side dishes, and desserts, as well as gluten-free beer and other beverages.

2019 Festivals

Maifest

Maifest

Sunday May 19, 12pm–6pm

Maifest (pronounced “My–fest” in German, and also called May Fest in English) is the traditional celebration of the arrival of spring. In Germany and Austria, the Maibaum (Maypole) is decorated to honor a town or village's local history, produce, and crafts, and is the focus of the traditional Maypole Dance and the crowning of the Maikönigin (May Queen).

 

Sommerfest

Sommerfest

Sunday July 21, 12pm–6pm

Celebrate summer with great food, drink, live music, and dancing at our traditional German festival, Sommerfest!

 

Sommerfest

Sommerfest

Sunday July 15, 12pm–6pm

Celebrate summer with great food, drink, live music, and dancing at our traditional German festival, Sommerfest!

 

Kinderfest

Kinderfest

Sunday September 15, 12pm–6pm

Kinderfest is a great event for the entire family. In addition to all the adult fun, food, drink, live music, and dancing of Oktoberfest, there are special activities for our younger members and guests.

Children can compete for prizes in our forest meadow games, or join other Kinder in dances on the Fest dance floor.

Children's games and activities may include: ring toss, bean bag toss, magnetic fishing game, milk bottle softball throw, spinning chance wheel, climbing pole with toy wheel, running races, softball toss, sack race, and balloon stomp. We also have an adult sack race. Candy and prizes are awarded.

Music and Dancing at the Fest

Joe Smiell Band - Photo by Rob Villanueva https://www.flickr.com/photos/robvillanueva/with/9790182576

Joe Smiell Band - Photo by Rob Villanueva

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Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit

Ein PrositEin Prosit is a traditional drinking song at Oktoberfest and other festivals. Here's how to properly toast your neighbors: 1) Stand, 2) Successively look each person in the eye while clinking together the bottoms of your glasses or steins, 3) Say “Prost!,” 4) Follow with a hearty drink.

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.
OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G’SUFFA!
 
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,
hoi, hoi, hoi.
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,
hoi, hoi, hoi!
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.
One two three, drink up!

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