On Sunday afternoon October 5 the masses assembled at the Oakland Nature Friends (NF) club for Oktoberfest with the Bajuk Trio performing. The club occupies 3 acres studded with oak and eucalyptus trees in the Oakland foothills overlooking the San Francisco Bay with a clubhouse & kitchen, outside dance floor with picnic area and biergarten. The weather for this Sunday was stunning.
In photo on right: dipsters
We arrived an hour before the fest (noon), thinking that this was early enough to garner one of the precious parking spots, but we were wrong. The parking lot was filled up and the club shuttled folk from the main artery (at Butters and Joaquin Murieta) to the fest. Attendance was well over 700 which eclipsed the 500 from 2013, taxing the all-volunteer crews. Luckily, they had plenty of food and beer to satisfy the crowd.
In photo on left: schuhplattler
Oktoberfest is not for the diehard dancers. It’s a time of celebration with friends and family. I love the transition the Oakland NF has undergone with lots of young families attending the fests. I love all of the kids running about the grounds. I love the folks who rarely dance giving it a go with a few kids scampering about the floor. I love the Schuhplattlers slapping leather (guys) or twirling their dresses (gals) as they sashay about. I love Stefan Kochishan’s (clarinetist/vocalist) subtle quips interjected between his announcing the next song. I love Joe Bajuk’s deadpan look when Stefan throws out one of his one liners. I love watching the chicken dance. I love it when Oktoberfest season is over and they put the chicken dance music to rest.
In photo on right below: solo chicken dancer
In photo on left below: bierstube