Post Eagle Newspaper

Thursday

Feb 22, 2024

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Oktoberfest at Mt. Angel, Oregon

The 4-day Oktoberfest in Mount Angel, Oregon was held September 11-14. This event has been staged for 49 years and draws the largest crowds of any Oktoberfest on the west coast. They report that over 300 thousand people attended.

IMG_0087forwebThe small town of Mt. Angel is virtually closed off for 4 days for the fest. The Glockenspiel Restaurant anchors one end of town and the Biergarten, one of the 3 major performance halls, anchors the other end. Between them are 10 blocks of food & beer stands and the other two performance halls: the Alpinegarten and the Weingarten. An outdoor bandstand is on an avenue adjacent to the Glockenspiel Restaurant, where musicians and dance groups entertain. All of the performance halls are within a couple of walking minutes from each other, operating from noon to around 9pm every day with continuous entertainment in each venue.

Kleinstadtler Bavarian Dancers

The Gruber Family Band has performed for 14 years at this event and they have told us that it’s truly fantastic and that we must go – so we did. We were not disappointed – in fact, we have made reservations for next year. Over a dozen bands performed – each rather distinct and quite good. I thought that it was going to be a dozen oom-pah bands, which is why we’ve not attended. Not that I dislike oom-pah bands, but I’m good for them in small doses, and 4 days is a big dose.

There’s not enough room in this small article to do justice to each band, so I’ll give you a small flavor. Kerry Christensen, a master yodeler and excellent accordion player, performed with Dalene Jones, one of the best drummers that we know. Kerry played just about every European music genre. The Salzburger Echo performed German, Austrian, and Swiss styles with Alphorns, cowbells, and harmonious yodeling. The Donaumusikanten band is a very talented German band which plays German and American music with a flare. They get the audience involved in their music with hijinks and energy. They are the crowd favorite for the late night set as well as the youngsters. And kudos to the Kleinstadtler Bavarian Dancers who performed a very untraditional dance routine with unbridled verve.

IMG_0102forwebThe Biergarten sports a decent dance floor while the other venues provide postage stamp dance floors. Sawdust covers the Weingarten floor which spills onto its small dance floor, making it extremely slippery. Dancing was tenable at the Biergarten and Alpinegarten on Thursday and Friday, but not so on the weekend. The major crowds, of course, show up on the weekend. As I said, we’ll be there again next year.

 

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