I've not been to Oktoberfest in Germany, but I think I get it now. Beer, and Bratwurst... then mix in some Oompa music spiced with the frequent, "zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi, PROSIT!", don't forget the chicken dance, and somehow it all works. a great deal of fun was the end result.
I'm getting good use of my lederhosen.
sausage on a stick!
several halls are filled with communal tables, and a live band playing traditional German songs; Roll out the barrel, Eidelweiss, chicken dance and Ein Prosit were crowd favorites.
I never had much interest in the music. but after some bratwurst and a pint or two of oktoberfest... it really starts to gain some appeal. especially those times when the entire hall sings along at top volume.
this hall had only German beers on tap.
kids enjoyed a few carnival rides.
it got MUCH more crowded as the sun went down. we were surprised at how polite and orderly everybody behaved. it was very dense but there was a constant stream of "excuse me, you go first" or "please sir (arm stretched out yielding the way)". everybody was happy, no sloppy angry drunks looking for trouble.
the boys got silly hats to mark the occasion. #1 son had second thoughts when I explained his hat would be coming from his own $. then I bargained on the price and he agreed the hatdog was worth the lower price.
many people skip the 16 oz cup of beer and drink straight from the pitcher. and they will start a stack of dead soldiers they proudly carry around. by nightfall, these stacks are quite vertiginous.
I asked the ladies what the tally marks represent, each group numbered by year. the oldest group we found was back to 1991. each mark represents a performance of the chicken dance in that hall.
the tables are communal. you end up sharing your wurstfest experience with new friends. the magic of beer, sausage and Ein Prosit.
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi, Prosit!
we left just as it got dark, slowly pushing our way through the crowd of happy german-texans.
and the next day... kat and I found this Growler filling device at Central Market. it fills the growler in a pressurized chamber so it's nice and fresh when you get around to opening it. we had some local hefeweizen from Live Oak and enjoyed it with sushi
and that evening we took the kids to House Wine. they really enjoy those table top s'mores.