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Friday, September 30, 2005
And now it's time for a BAVARIAN BLOWOUT!
A batch of Oktoberfest photos and videos has overtaken Welcome to Blog at this late hour. A few Sundays back I caught the tail-end of the Mount Angel Oktoberfest and took somewhere between a bungload and a %$@load of photos of random German weirdness. 30 made the final cut.
For a weekend every September, beer halls, strudel slingers, "Sound of Music"-style family bands and full-grown adults in lederhosen invade roughly ten square blocks of downtown Mt. Angel. The annual festival is one of the largest of its kind in the US and it's a big enough deal to draw authentic Germans. Or at least three of them. They're in a band that flies in every year to play in one of the biergartens.
The family and I have made the festival an on-and-off tradition since the mid-90s. All us range between 25% and 50% German and this is the closest we get to celebrating our Deutschland roots (short of the occassional trip to the Rheinlander). While I didn't get stinking drunk and spend the day staggering around in a pair of wooden shoes like in 2001, I did manage to get into two seperate arguments with a vendor selling Russian dolls.
Sometime later Shanna landed in the middle a beer stein holding contest. The steins weighed over 10 pounds a piece and each contestant had to hold it in an outstretched arm. It's harder than it sounds. She gave it her best shot but lost to a buff blonde chick that looked like she'd just stepped off the set of an inspirational Nike commercial. The blonde won a free fondue platter. Shanna returned the table and nursed her wounded ego with a pint of lager.
Photos of all this and more can be found here. Please also enjoy these Quicktime videos:
Are you in the mood to watch a crowd of drunk farmers, senior citizens and Portland yuppies sway back and forth to German folk music? If so, you're in luck. Click on the pic.
Lastly, here's ME Russell's cartoon take on the annual fest.