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Oktoberfest 2023

The History of Oktoberfest

OKTOBERFEST is our biennial regional conference. It started out as a yearly conference, but grew so large, we now host it every other year.

It’s a one-day conference held on the third Saturday in October. It originated as a small ‘Fall’ craft event in 2006. But when we started growing from a small gathering of creatives into such a big event for our growing community, we renamed it to OKTOBERFEST to reflect the scale!

We could not be where we are today without our amazing volunteers! Members who dedicate a lot of their time, energy, passion, and leadership into building our region out to what it is now.

OKTOBERFEST would also not be possible without the tenacity of the late, Margaret Speaker-Yuan, who died in February of this year.

Margaret Speaker-Yuan became our RA in 2005. And from 2006 until 2011, She loved identifying venues, negotiating contracts, and creating programming for our membership.

Margaret died in late February which was a shock to all.

“She worked very hard for SCBWI, to the point of exhaustion. She had a heart of gold.” – Colette Weil Parrinello, Former SFNEB RA

We are planning to honor Margaret during the conference, seeing we would not be where we are without her efforts and her team of volunteers. Our regional team includes the legacy of our former Regional Advisors, Colette Weil, Keely Inkster, Shells Leguollon, and Lisa Schulman.

Our current team is led by RAs, Colleen Riordan and Dean Gloster; our Co-Assistant Regional Advisors, Natasha Yim and Nadia Salomon. Our region would not be possible without our CoCos – our County Coordinators and their predecessors. Our region would not be possible without our Tapestry of Voices and the DEI Team! We would also like to acknowledge every member and non-member who has ever volunteered to make OKTOBERFEST what it is now.

We look forward to welcoming everyone after a four-year hiatus!