Ok, Ok, so the offical Oktoberfest is held in Munich Germany, but we weren’t geared up for that in time (last weeks of September…cause that makes sense for Oktoberfest). And our new city, Bochum, had our backs and hosted their 2nd Annual Oktoberfest from October 21-30.
I’m not sure how many of you have ever been to your local Oktoberfest celebrations, but I highly recommend it….especially if you’re ever in Germany. I am just yearning now to go to the main event in Munich (which basically seems to be the equivalent of a GIANT state fair).
I am sure those of you who do attend your local events are wondering how it compares to Oktoberfest in Germany. While I have nothing to compare it to (yet) I can let you in on all my experiences at this year’s Bochum Oktoberfest, and you can compare for yourself!
But first I’m going to let you in on some German know-how and tips:
Ladies! Dress up!!! I didn’t buy a Dirndl because 1. They all looked so frumpy; 2. They were expensive; 3. It’s freezing and they’re knee length dresses! But I severly regret my decision. Everyone there was dressed in costume, and it created such a fun environment! The dirndls all looked so cute and amazing on every single person. And my boyfriend dressed in Lederhosen and looked too adorable. I missed out on the chance to be that CUTE couple! So yes, if you go play the part!
Also, wear braids! Everyone does! It’s cute and super convenient to keep your hair out of your face while you’re participating in all the German festivities! More importantly it’s a fun flirty way to keep your hair out of your BEER!
We arrived early, and (YAY!!!) we got our food and ate it before all the partying started. This meant our bellies were full to soak up the beer. Our food came fast & hot, and it wasn’t in our way when we were dancing on the tables!
Tip your Beer Girl. Your table aisle should have it’s own beer/drink girl. We tipped ours and ended up getting free shots throughout the night! Everyone appreciates being appreciated. Don’t think since you’re at a festival the rules change. Be grateful!
Ok…I think this is it!
So how to describe Oktoberfest:
It’s hard to put my expereience into words. It was the best though! I wanted to go back every night. Even now writing this article makes me want to convince Caleb to go again tomorrow!
The beer was conitinuously flowing, coming liters at a a time (in liter beer mugs). While the band played a mixture of popular American songs interspersed between German hits. After every song though, they did a sing-a-long of (ein prosit) a traditional German drinking song. During this short sing-a-long, everyone raised their glass in celebration…of beer!
Throughout the night, everyone stood up on their benches or tables and danced along to every song. There was one German song where everyone just linked arms and swayed similar to the ending scene of the the Whos in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie, and the sight of this in real life almost brought tears to my eyes. Oktoberfest (for Germans) is just a celebration of being German and loving beer! With everyone coming together to get roaring drunk! It was amazing…exactly what the final scene of that movie is about.
I just remember the whole time thinking this can’t be how harmonious Oktoberfest celebrations are in America…everyone getting piss drunk (the table of guys next to us fell off their chairs more than once) with no fights. No security tangles. Everyone just singing harmoniously celebrating life. The sole purpose of the event is to drink as much beer as you can. German’s have no problem or stigma tied to being wasted. They just drink and act rowdy without being obnoxious or hateful. And security is there purely to make sure everyone is safe. They don’t try to control every situation. They let you act loud, stand on tables, dance around. As long as you are not hurting yourself or others anything goes! That’s how a party should be, everyone coming together for a good time without someone trying to control the whole situation. And people shoud be able to all get along and just be happy to be. That’s what this celebration was for me…just being!
Replay of our night:
We took the city bus out to a cute suburban/rural area. We then had to walk 5 mins to where the big Oktoberfest tent was set up in the beautiful German countryside. It was drizzling the whole time. It just set the mood of cold weather country living and created a beautiful grey sky to view all the green landscapes against. Upon entering we found our seats (which could only be bought in pairs…so we had bought an extra ticket for only 3 of us).
We were basically the first people in the tent…Germans are 15 min late to everything. For instance, I am taking a college German course, and the time listed for the start of class is 4:15-4:30, not even definitive!
Since we went to the first night of festivities it was a little less crowded, but still not any less fun! (It was our only option since the next night was completely sold out, and Ashley was only visiting for the weekend).
Upon taking our seats, our beer girl Ana immediately came to greet us with a German salutation that none of us understood. She did know English, but either way beer is universal! She took our orders of a liter each. Then the waitress came to take our food order. We each decided to get something different so we could try everything.
I didn’t take home a menu (forgetful) so I can’t remember what any of our dishes were called.
There was so much on the menu…various German foods, fun appetizers (pretzels), wines, non-alcohlic drinks, and of course shots! Ashley and I were looking to really party so we ordered shots, which were only the cutest little minis of Apple Schnapps EVER! You could order apple, peach, and I think rum!
After we ate the band started to ROCK! We were surprised to hear them sing American songs (because a majority of Bochumers only speak German), but they still knew all the words! Everyone started standing on the tables and benches, and we stayed grounded. After a few songs though we joined them up there…and it was a blast! Just dancing on a bench, trying not to tip over…amazing! Caleb became friends with the guy sitting next to him (who knew zero english) they chatted through google translate on Caleb’s phone!
Basically from 6-11pm we just danced the night away and drank lots and lots of beer. Everytime your mug was empty Ana wasn’t far behind to replenish you! Then at 11 we stumbled out and traveled the 30 min journey home and went to sleep…waking up wanting to do it all over again!
Unfortunately I don’t have any great pictures because you know camera, drinking, not a great mixture. Fall…broken. Get wet…broken. But I did take videos and pics with my phone for Snapchat. They’re just not the best quality because it was dark inside, sorry! I hope my description (and the few pics/videos I do have) are enough to convince you that you need to attend Oktoberfest celebrations immediately! They sense of community that is created warms the soul…and so does the alcohol!
What I wore:
I already stated above that I regret not wearing a Dirndl, and HIGHLY recommend that if you attend an Oktoberfest that you dress the part. But in lieu of me not having the costume I wore a black denim jumper (similar to this), a cream turtleneck, layered with a fun patterned vest. To keep my legs warm I wore sheer black tights and mid-calf floral socks. I wore lace-up flats over socks to bring in a costume element. It was my rendition of an Oktoberfest inspired ensemble!