Robert Maggiora, Palo Alto native and leader of the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band, will be performing at the 12th annual Oktoberfest By The Bay at Pier 48 from Friday through Sunday.
How did you get a start in this? Well, my heritage is Italian, and I went to high school with our drummer Porter Goltz. At the time, this was in the late ’60s; being in a high school marching band wasn’t very cool. Our band director asked us to do a football halftime show … something kind of crazy and fun. We did some of these German band goofy things. We sounded OK, but it was a fun type of thing.
When did you start going to Munich every 10 years? 1987 was our first trip. We went again in 1997, and through the people that import Spaten beer, they got our band to march in the Munich Oktoberfest parade. We were received very, very well. At that time, we were the first Americans ever to march in the Munich Oktoberfest parade. … People would come up to us and ask us in their Bavarian dialect what town we were from.
What do you expect throughout the weekend event? I’m just hoping we get a good crowd. Sunday is a good time to bring family. But there are times during the evening when Oktoberfest can be more rowdy.