The city council on August 13 unanimously approved a special-use permit for the Oktoberfest that will be held October 4-6. There won't be any carnival rides at the event sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the La Mesa Merchants Village Association. There will be signs posted outside the family-friendly beer garden to inform attendees that "all persons under 21" must be accompanied by someone 21 or older. Signs will also state that "all property is subject to inspection."
Property includes purses, backpacks, and gym bags, said chamber president Mary England.
The chamber runs the beer garden in the public-parking lot on Allison Avenue and a food court at the corner of Fourth Street and La Mesa Boulevard. The association is responsible for the La Mesa Boulevard street fair consisting of approximately 200 vendors, four food courts, and a small beer court on Nebo Drive.
According to the Oktoberfest website, more than 200,000 people attend Oktoberfest.
England told the council that signs about the age requirement and search policy describe actions implemented in the past. Signs will be posted because this is the first year without the rides that attracted numerous young people last year.
"Safety is an issue," she said. Organizers don't want to "take a chance" that "young people come to La Mesa [and say] 'There's no carnival. Lets see what trouble we can get into.' "