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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Brews and Bellows Come Together for the Big Squeeze and Beer Tasting Festival


Themed “Brews and Bellows” the 7th annual Accordion Festival aka The Big Squeeze returns Sunday, Sept. 27 at the Orange County Market Place in Costa Mesa and brings together accordion playing and a beer tasting experience via the Samuel Adams Octoberfest Experience.

Accordion based bands and soloists will show off the diversity of the squeezebox and its versatility in a variety of music genres in concerts and performances during the Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Headlining the Festival at 2:45 p.m. is the high energy country band with a Cajun twist, the Doo-Wah Riders. The five member band led by Kenny Lee Benson on accordion, who also does vocals, keyboard and harmonica, have been performing for over 35 years and have appeared in concert with many top names including Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, the Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton and many more.


The Doo-Wah Riders recorded with Byron Berline on his Grammy nominated CD, “Fiddle and a Song”. The band appeared in the movie “Basic Instinct”, starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone and was featured doing one of their own songs, “Glowing in the Ashes”. They appeared on TNN’s “Prime Time Country” and on the prime time television Dick Clark Production “Will You Marry Me?”

Kicking off the band performances is the Celtic group, The Ploughboys with Mark Romano on accordion, returning for a second year and also the house band at the Scottish Pub Tam O’Shanter Inn in Los Angeles, at 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cajun and zydeco band, Bonne Musique Zydeco, with L.A.‘s Accordion Diva Gee Rabe on the squeezebox, will follow at noon to 12:45 p.m.

Tex-mex band Los Fabulocos with Jesse Cuevas on accordion take the stage at 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.


In the Samuel Adams Beer Tent, Jim Gilman und Der Burgermeisters will entertain with traditional Oktoberfest music and other popular songs in several sets throughout the day starting at 10 a.m.

On another stage, Borsini Accordions will be presenting a slate of solo performers and presentations including How to do a One Man Band with an Accordion, Accordion Building Secrets and the Scoop on Accordion Appraisal. Soloists include Gail Campanella, Lou Fanucchi and Jeffrey Iacono. There is also an open jam at 3:30 p.m. in which the public is invited to participate. The public can also bring accordions for free appraisals.

Strolling accordion players include Doug Lacy as the Buccaneer Accordionist and Bryan Olgin as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Accordionist.

Gourmet food trucks including Dogzilla, Baby’s Burgers and Grilled Cheese Truck will be serving up special menu items in addition to their regular bill of fare.

While squeezing in the entertainment, beer connoisseurs can take in the Samuel Adams Octoberfest Experience which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers tastings of its seasonal brews and other specialty beers including selections form Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles.

For the Beer Experience there is a $35 ticket available in advance and includes a free admission to the Festival and The Market Place, along with four 12 oz. beers, Gaslamp Popcorn, a giant pretzel and food item from one of the food trucks.

A Stein Hoisting Contest, with divisions for men and women, will be at 2:15 p.m. Contestants must hold one full 1.5 liter stein with their arm straight in front of them. Prizes for the winners include a 2015 Sun Bicycles Revolutions 24 Beach Cruiser Bike from Jax Bicycle Center provided by Avalon, an Irvine apartment community, and a Samuel Adams glass stein and other merchandise.


Tickets are available at under Samuel Adams Octoberfest Experience & the Big Squeeze.

At the event, the cost for the Beer Experience is $45 and does not include admission.

Non beer tasting attendees can attend the Festival and the OC Market Place for $2 or free admission for children 12 and under and includes access to the Orange County Market Place which features hundreds of swap meet vendors and runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Market Place is located at the OC Fair & Event Center at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

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