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Sidewalk preacher

The first sight I saw upon my arrival at La Mesa’s annual Oktoberfest was this guy, holding a bullhorn asking people if they wanted to go to Heaven or Hell. Talk about a buzz kill.

La Mesa Boulevard, normally sleepy and reserved, brims with beer drinkers ever year during their Oktoberfest. This year the line waiting to get into the beer garden snaked around the street. Oktoberfest has been an annual affair in La Mesa for over 35 years. It’s attended by the young and old, most of whom are looking for a good brat or some tasty brew. Attendee Zachary Vothe was shameless in thigh baring Lederhosen ($49.99 at Party City). Vothe recently turned 21, marking his first year with the ability to stroll around in the beer garden. In celebration, he bought along his own Hofbrauhaus mug.

Zachary Vothe

Kenna Branch waited patiently outside Centifonti's, a popular cafe in La Mesa that serves beer in boots.

Kenna Branch

”I’m only 20, so they won’t let me in. My friends said they were going to drink a beer in a boot and then meet me back out here in a minute,” Branch explained.

“How long ago was that?” I asked.

She shrugged and let out a weary sigh.

Branch sported a shirt, jacket, and necklace from Forever 21. Her favorite local shopping spot is Brandy Melville in PB.

Taylor Lentz and Michelle Caroll

On the patio at Cosmos Coffee Café, I found Taylor Lentz, 19 and Michelle Caroll, 18. Lentz recently joined the military and will begin basic training in two months. Carroll is an art student. Caroll wore a cotton candy colored jacket from Kohl's that matched her pastel hair. Lentz wore a Members Only rip-off jacket from Tilly’s.

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