Zion Rocktoberfest
Eric the Red to perform at Zion Rocktoberfest. Photo: Facebook

The third annual Zion Rocktoberfest will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, from 2 p.m. until midnight at the entrance of Zion National Park with authentic German eats, lovingly handcrafted beers, and an eclectic live music lineup of some of the finest local talent. The all-day barbecue will feature delicious beer brats, wienerschnitzel, and other Bavarian fare.

This is a laid-back festival that doesn’t try to be anything but a convivial gathering, allowing residents and visitors alike to come and enjoy many bounties without the trouble of a cover charge. The only wristbands you’ll see here will be for those who choose to partake in the standard and seasonal creations of Zion Brewery and Iron Gate Winery. The beer and wine garden will be flowing throughout the day and into the night. Zion Brewery just returned from a showcasing worth boasting at the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival in September.

Zion Rocktoberfest
The George Staheli Memorial Umpah Ensemble. Photo: Facebook

To start it all off at 2 p.m., the George Staheli Memorial Umpah Ensemble returns to the Rocktoberfest stage for the third year in a row with horns, Bavarian lederhosen, and their own brand of Prost (German for “cheers!”). This ensemble is always entertaining for both young and old members of the crowd.

Next onstage is the reggae-rock introduction of the newly-formed Valley Tan. With deep roots in the St George music scene—including stints with the Goo-Blurs, the Triggerlocks, and Sundive—Valley Tan and frontman Seth Klingonsmith have the charisma (and dreadlocks) that may make you forget you are still in the high desert of southern Utah.

Finally, to round off the eclectic outdoor sets, the reunited country-rock-prog-funk band Erik the Red lights up the atmosphere. As for many bands, Springdale has always been a special place for these guys to perform. As night sets in, the always stellar, always funky Soul What!? moves for an intimate gathering indoors to the Zion Canyon Brew Pub, the flagship restaurant for the Zion Brewery. The grooves continue until midnight.

Throughout the day, there will be a Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, games, and a climbing wall. Again, all music and activities are free. Bring the kids and let them enjoy at will. At 5 p.m., there will be a bratwurst-eating contest with awesome prizes for the winners. Afterwards will be a board game competition hosted by Washington-based Game Haven. The winner will have the choice of their very own Settlers of Catan-style game set to take home. You guessed it: entry for the brats and board games contests is free but limited on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information follow Zion Rocktoberfest on Facebook.