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Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Another Saturday afternoon in Oregon's Bavaria
I wonder if every state in the union has a town devoted to recreating Bavaria. Washington has Leavenworth and Oregon has Mount Angel. If Nevada has one, I wonder what it would look like. A fake Alpine village with tumbleweeds running down the thoroughfare would be a sight to see.
Enough about that. It was Oktoberfest time in Mt. Angel last weekend and, as part of semi-annual tradition, I rolled down there with family. The lot of us range between 25% and 50% German and, aside from the occasional trip to the Rheinlander, this is the closest any of us get to celebrating the nation from which we sprang. Oktoberfests fall somewhere between Cat Cosey Knit-a-Thons and boat shows on the cool spectrum but you can't argue with heritage. And imported ale. And hats shaped like beer steins. Being the huge dork that I am, there was one year when I came out of there with wooden shoes on my feet and a feather cap on my head. Still, even I've never gotten drunk enough to buy lederhosen. That's probably for the best for reasons too numerous to mention here. Among them, lederhosen is incredibly expensive. We're talking upwards of $45 just for the socks.
So we stuck to the usual stuff- a spin past the hot rod show, a few hours in one of the weingartens watching bands like Der Musikmakers play the "Chicken Dance" song, etc. While "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang is probably one of the world's worst funk songs, it doesn't sound so bad when it's performed with violins and accordions. We built a little tower out of beer cups before checking out the town's new (and broken) glockenspiel, reportedly the biggest in the US. A local teenager had to come out and hand crank the thing to get it going on Saturday.
As I always do, I bought an overpriced arts and/or craft. An Old Man and the Sea-esque advertisement for fishing expeditions will soon be joining the coo coo clock, the coconut pirate and all the Star Wars paraphernalia in my living room. With enough time and effort I'm hoping I can turn it into the world's tackiest.
And there's photos. If you're interested in shots of art displays with unintentional subtexts, middle-aged people dancing in lederhosen and tanks, click here.
Finally, here's a photo of deep-friend Oreos. They tasted like what they are, doughnuts with melted Oreos in the middle.