This weekend will feature beer, brats and Lederhosen as Rio Rancho Oktoberfest returns.

The celebration of beer, food, fun and supporting local businesses is set for 2-9 p.m. Sept. 16 at Country Club Plaza, which is where Brew Lab 101, Joe’s Pasta House and Elevate are located.

The event, which dates back more than 30 years in Rio Rancho, has been hosted by the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2019.

“We’ll have breweries, food trucks, music all day,” Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jerry Schalow said. “We’ll have bouncies and stuff for the kids, a Kids Zone sponsored by Sparklight. We’ll have a number of vendors there.”

While Oktoberfest goes back three decades in the City of Vision, the first festival in Munich, Bavaria, in Germany began on Oct. 12, 1810. The first Oktoberfest was held in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities lasted until Oct. 17. The public celebrations ended with a horse race. After such a spectacular party, the happy couple decided that the same type of festival should be continued annually. In the following years, the galas were repeated every October, prolonged and, eventually moved forward into September primarily because of the weather.

The party in the plaza has been growing each year since the Chamber took over, and Schalow said he expects a big crowd this weekend. Some Oktoberfest specials include beer releases, German foods, extended patios and live music. The family-friendly event costs $10 per adult the day of or $8 on presale. Kids are free.

Prizes will be awarded for best Oktoberfest outfit.

“It’s a festival; think about Sunday is Funday but with beer and a lot more food trucks,” Schalow said. “It’s our biggest party of the year. This has, by far, the largest attendance. It’s a lot of fun.”