Oktoberfest. When I hear that word, 3 things pop into mind: German, Beer, and Food.
My husband has some German family. I may have some as well…I would know if I made a point to dig deep into my genes. But no matter what, it screams fun. This was my first festival in the “Great State of Oklahoma.” I didn’t really know what to expect, but if there were beer and food, how bad could it be? I snagged some discounted tickets on Groupon, made the arrangements, and we were off!
The drive was less than poetic. We live NW of OKC, so it actually took about an hour to get to the festival. Off the highway, numerous signs beg for attention, directing you to the place of beer heaven. Scattered clouds, warm breezes, and the chirping of happy birds greeted us as we parked. Aromas of freshly-popped kettle corn and slow-roasted pulled pork enticed us as we drew near the entrance. As I got my phone out and ready to show my Groupon, some snarky guy thought he would pop a joke about me being strong enough to carry my special-needs brother out of the festival after all the beer he was going to drink. In his defense, he was probably just trying to be cute. I didn’t feel the need to make him feel like crap, so I smiled and kept walking.
You pay some nice people at the front. Normal price of the tickets were $5. I got the 4 for $12 tickets off Groupon, so chalk that up to a win for me. We had an extra ticket, so I paid for a strangers way in. My nice contribution for the day was met!
Upon entering, you have to buy tickets for food and drinks. You also can buy tickets for an armband for your kids if they want to go play in the kid zone. I am assuming this is so the money goes directly to the festival and that the prices are regulated. Also maybe it cuts down on theft? They will card you for a special “Hey, I’m legal to drink” wrist band. And if you are DD, then you get a special “Hey! I’m driving!” wrist band. I guess you get a free beverage for wearing that. No one in our party was considered a Designate Driver, as we all wanted to sample some of the tasty brews.
There was a huge tent that had German crafts you could buy. My husband and I bought 2 hand-made-in-Germany beer steins. Mine was an Irish-themed stein, and my husband’s was a German-theme stein. Both came with certificates of authenticity. Both were 50% off. We were hoping to find a cat and dog-sized little German hat for our baby beasts at home, but they didn’t have any. Epic fail. Neville and Roxy, of course, could care less. But it would have been a great Instagram moment.
As the wind shifted, so did the yummy, meaty smells of big-thick brats, turkey legs, and schnitzels. They were calling my name and my stomach was answering. We meandered over to the food tent, which also conveniently contained German dancing, music, and most importantly, BEER. Could something really be this delicious and convenient at the same time? Oh yes. My friend. Yes.
Both my husband and I got the Schnitzel sandwich. I got some German potato salad and he got some sauerkraut. My brother feasted on a big turkey leg and some potato cakes with apple sauce. For desert, we shared some apple strudel. I must say that the food was fulfilling. But the beer stole the show.
We started off with some Ayainger Oktoberfest. This was the beer I could have drank all day. no. problem. It had all the expectations of an amber beer, but Oktoberfestified. I love beer. Not to get drunk, but to savor. It soothes my ancient muscles and crackling bones and makes me very happy. I can’t imagine why anyone would stoop to drink 3.2 Budweiser at Oktoberfest. That is a tragic subject I don’t have time to address in this blog.
Our second beer was the Ayainger Celebrator. It was like Guinness, but there was no head. And it was German, of course. Hints of chocolate and coffee danced around the melody of this beautiful beer song. It was a bit strong, but this was not meant to be chugged. It demanded your attention.
All the while, as I savored every happy sip of my tasty brew, traditional German dances were being performed. They have different bands and they want the audience to get involved in the dancing and festivities too. You don’t have to be Fred Astaire to dance a German jig for the crowd. They teach it and preach it.
Moral of the story folks, you need to go to Oktoberfest. Eat, drink, and be merry. I did. The party lasts through September 10th!! You can visit their facebook page here.
Have you gone to the Choctaw Oktoberfest? If so, I want to hear what your favorite part was!!