And prepare to sip some suds. Oktoberfest hits Larimer Square on Friday night, and will stick around for the next two weekends. This downtown beer bash has been around for 37 years now (!) and many of my friends make it an annual trek. This year will be no exception.

One of my best girlfriends is in town, visiting from Japan, where she has been teaching English to grade school and junior high students for several years. Being native to the metro area — and therefore having an appropriately Denver-born appreciation of well crafted beers — she is dying to sample something other than the Sapporo she’s been surviving on for ages. We’ll roll downtown in time to catch the tapping of the first keg this Friday at 6 p.m., when Larimer Square will be temporarily renamed Theresienwese, the official site of Oktoberfest in Munich. The wooden keg of Paulaner Oktoberfest will be opened the old-fashioned way, with a hammer and a stake, thus kicking off the weekend’s festivities.

Sunday afternoon offers another highlight of the festival. Did you know that Denver is host to one of the world’s largest accordion concerts? Gather ’round on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. when everybody will polka to the sound of over 100 accordion players.

My only nitpick: the beer selections are too limited for a proper Oktoberfest celebration. It’s basically Paulaner or Coors. Not that I’m any kind of beer snob, but that doesn’t sit right with me. (Wine, yes. Beer? Not my thing.) Still, I’m sure I can make do with a really good bratwurst and a fine apple strudel. Prost!