Addison Oktoberfest One Day at a Time

Addison Oktoberfest took place Sept. 19-22. The annual festival has been in Addison for over 20 years. Photo courtesy @addisonmagazine on Instagram.
Addison Oktoberfest took place Sept. 19-22. The annual festival has been in Addison for over 20 years. Photo courtesy @addisonmagazine on Instagram.

We had our writers attend Addison Oktoberfest over the past weekend and deliver a first-person view about their experiences at the festival. One day at a time, starting on Thursday, we discovered why Addison is host to some of the best events in the entire country complete with beer, steins and strudel!

Thursday

by Sam Nicholson

I made way from my apartment in Addison Circle toward the gates of the 2013 Addison Oktoberfest. With Thursday night being free admission, the line was moderately long, but easy to make it through. My girlfriend and I made our way to the big tent being greeted by air conditioning and polka music as we entered. The festival had only been open an hour and the tent was packed. The keg tapping ceremony was to begin in an hour and we were early for our dinner at the Chamberlain’s Brau Haus. Naturally the first thing that came to my mind was, “Why don’t I already have a beer in my hand?”

We made our way through the ticket line and after grabbing a Paulaner Oktoberfest we found ourselves at a dog show. We watched the dogs make their way across the obstacle course, some faster than others, some even losing interest and looking for a little love from their adoring fans.

Before you could say, “zum wohl” my beer was gone and it was nearly 7:45 p.m. So we decided to make our way to the big tent for our dinner and the ceremonial keg tapping of this year’s Addison Oktoberfest. We picked the perfect time too, something began falling from the sky. It had been so long that it took me a second to realize, “oh this is rain!”

After finding our seat it wasn’t long before the tarp surrounding the tent began whipping about due to the thunderstorm that decided to show up. The crowd didn’t miss a beat listening to the band on stage awaiting the tapping of the keg. I think the only people that noticed were the ones unfortunate enough to be under holes in the tarp where water came through.

Attendees at Addison Oktoberfest playing an Alphorn. Photo by Sam Nicholson.
Attendees at Addison Oktoberfest playing an Alphorn. Photo by Sam Nicholson.

The rain was obviously not letting up and soon thereafter the MC on stage announced that everyone had to leave the tent because of severe weather heading toward the area. This was met with a rain of “boos” from the crowd as people began to exit the tent, heading to their cars, parking garages or where we went, the Conference Center. I made sure to grab a couple of beers on my way out, I didn’t know what to expect for the rest of the night, so “double fisting” two beers seemed like the logical option.

The rain was certainly coming down as we exited the tent, luckily it seemed to have let up just enough not to water my beer down as we made our way into the Conference Center (dubbed the Draught Haus for Addison Oktoberfest). There was already a large crowd here and you wouldn’t have even guessed most of these people had been relocated. Beer was still flowing, TVs set to the Rangers and the football game of the night. A guy even showed up nearby to let patrons blow his Alphorn. The beer I had consumed up to this point made me want to attempt it, but the same beer that gave me the confidence also made me impatient to stand in line, so I passed and got another beer.

The vibe inside the Draught Haus was great, everyone raising steins, drinking beer and being merry. I had been to Addison Oktoberfest in the past and I must admit it was one of my favorite experiences, even with the downpour that had taken place outside.

Although, Friday morning in the office wasn’t quite as pleasant…

Friday

by Tiburcio Medrano Jr.

Upon entering the grounds I immediately take notice of the large inflatable Batman, which kinda reminds me of Big Tex (I’ve heard several people throughout the night use it as a meeting place or point of reference).

Being that this was the first time I have ever attended Addison Oktoberfest, I was pretty hyped to see what all was offered.  Before committing to main tent in the back of the grounds, I decided to take an observant lap of the area.  I was happy to see that some local residents took the time to dress for the occasion in their Oktoberfest attire.  I had hoped to see the various sponsors step it up a notch and have their people also dress in the appropriate attire and perhaps try and sell their wares in German Oktober fashion but I guess that’s a little too much to expect.

There were authentic German steins for sale at Addison Oktoberfest. Photo by Sam Nicholson.
There were authentic German steins for sale at Addison Oktoberfest. Photo by Sam Nicholson.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the vendors’ section with all their original work.  Having a bit of an artist background myself, I am always amazed by all the creative creations.  The midway has all the main games that entertained me when I was a kid.  The main tent did not disappoint.  The various shows and performances were done in true German Oktoberfest fashion with amazing audience participation.

But through all the costumes and performances, the one thing that stands out the most for me was the stein tent.  Never have I ever seen such a large collection of intricately designed steins.  The level of detail was amazing.

In the end, I had a great time.  Will I go again, most definitely, but this time, I’m bringing a designated driver.

Saturday (daytime)

by Caren Rodriguez

2:23 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21

I didn’t want to drink and drive on my first trip to Addison Oktoberfest, so I decided to use public transportation.

After a long and bumpy ride, my boyfriend and I arrived at the Addison Transit Station. I instantly felt a rush of excitement. I saw crazy carnival rides, smelled fried goodness and heard energetic music. The awesome weather was just the cherry on top.

Addison Oktoberfest had only been open for about two hours at this point. The crowd was a good mix of young and old, with plenty of young families.

I bought $40 worth of tickets, made my way to the first beer station I saw and got a Marzen—the darker beer. As I was standing at the station, I encountered the only drunk mess of the day—a young, obnoxious guy who was talking—screaming, really—on his phone. This “bro” was trying to convince his friend that Oktoberfest was full of, ahem, women, using expletives and offensive language. Ugh.

The beer station was directly across the “Schloss Addison” main tent. I walked inside to check out the scene and enjoy my beer.

The Alpine Children’s Dancers were finishing up their set when I walked in. They were cute and their performance was fun to watch.

I got my second beer and a pretzel in the Schloss tent and decided to walk around the festival grounds and explore the rest of Addison Oktoberfest.

I caught the first round of the bier barrel rolling event. The highlight was when one guy was rolling a barrel with one hand, holding a beer in the other, lost his shoe and won his run.

After finishing my second beer, I walked to the carnival. I rode the starship, in which you experience centrifugal force lifting you from the floor. It was fun, but after two beers, I was left feeling really dizzy and lightheaded.

Because I’m a vegetarian, my food choices were limited. Around 5 p.m., I had some delicious German chips, a savory crepe and beer No. 3.

I walked to the Draught Haus, where I stumbled upon a video game station. I thought it was time for another drink and I got a glass of cabernet. I don’t know why I decided to get wine, but I did and it was tasty.

After watching a 10-year-old kid beat a 34-year-old several times at the gaming station, I decided it was time for another beer, but I didn’t have enough tickets left.

At this point, it was around 7 p.m. and the lines were ridiculously long. I contemplated leaving, but thought, “No! This is Oktoberfest; I have to have another beer!” Oh, my stubborn, slightly inebriated mind.

I waited in line for what seemed like forever and purchased $20 worth of tickets. I don’t know why I bought enough tickets for three more beers. I had to leave in an hour due to the DART bus schedule.

I bought one more beer, walked back to the carnival and went to a “monkey maze.” You make weird decisions when you’ve had a lot to drink.

My boyfriend told me it was time to go and I still had 13 tickets left. I ended up selling them half-price to a guy who was having a battle with balance.

As I sat at the Addison Transit Station waiting for bus 463, I gazed at the colorful, brightly-lit carnival rides. My first time at Addison Oktoberfest was filled with laughter, great beer, good company and fun rides. I didn’t get a chance to try any sweets or explore more of the festival grounds, but there’s always next year!

Paulaner brought a mobile beer garden to Addison Oktoberfest. They could poor beer right out of the side of a truck. Photo by Sam Nicholson.
Paulaner brought a mobile beer garden to Addison Oktoberfest. They could poor beer right out of the side of a truck. Photo by Sam Nicholson.

Saturday (evening)

by Lindsey Barger

After a long week of analyzing sales and managing accounts, my husband and I decided to relax and take in all the food, beer and festivities Addison Oktoberfest had to offer.

I have attended Addison Oktoberfest before but the amount of people in attendance this year was insurmountable. The lines for tickets and food were slightly annoying but allowed for one of the best “people watching” experiences I have encountered. People are very serious about Oktoberfest and show up dawning authentic German garb, right down to the lederhosen and beer steins.

There were several local artists selling a plethora of different art mediums ranging from jewelry to clay art, even German nutcrackers. There were also a number of booths selling German memorabilia, most notably the chicken hat, made famous by the Swiss chicken dance song; you know the annoying one that is played at almost every wedding.

The amount of food at Addison Oktoberfest seemed endless, my favorite was the corn dog bratwurst followed by kettle corn popcorn. There was also a crepe booth offering both Nutella and Hershey’s chocolate crepes, I was a little disappointed they had run out of the ham and cheese crepes, but I wasn’t about to pass up chocolate.

Let’s not forgot the beer, Paulaner was my choice for the night; it has a delicious wheat taste and you could choose between light or dark, with an option to purchase a souvenir stein, so I of course bought three.

There was a pavilion in the back that was airing the Texas game, which made my husband extremely happy and the line for beer was much shorter. A big group of people had commenced in a game of beer pong and German music was playing loudly overhead.

So aside from the lines, Addison Oktoberfest was all I had hoped for and exactly what I needed after such a hard week. This event is something we look forward to every year and I have no doubts we will work it into our calendar for years to come.

Sunday

by Aly Payne

It was a crisp Sunday afternoon which smelled of smoked turkey legs, German potato salad and Stein beer. The sound of children’s laughter was entwined in the breeze, somewhere between the traditional German music and the rhythm of clapping hands.  A number of families scuttled by in their Dirndl and Lederhosen – proud to sport traditional German garb, while other families wandered by, simultaneously coaxing their Dachshunds along. With temperatures reaching a high of only 84 degrees, it was a September day in Addison that felt far too good to be true – it was Addison Oktoberfest.

As I entered through those heavenly gates, separating Oktoberfest from the rest of Addison, I began to salivate. Among the impenetrable crowd, it appeared I couldn’t turn in any direction without something deliciously enticing staring me straight in the face.  Funnel Cakes, Smoked Sausage, Smoked Pork Loin, Salted or Cinnamon Pretzels and Polk-a-Dot Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake (which were delicious btw) were among the items on a fairly extensive menu. But just as exciting as the tantalizing meals before me, was the beer, served in a souvenir Stein. And while I sat and indulged, I was entertained by German music and German dancing.

In the Addison Oktoberfest main tent, a German musical group played their tunes for an enthusiastic crowd; while just beyond, out among the evergreen terrace, a traditional German dance was being performed by families in their traditional German dress. As the audience sat entranced by the rare September weather, smaller children were drawn to the rollercoasters just a few feet away – anxiously pulling their parents along, eying the Dachshunds from the Dachshund Parade as they went.

And as the evening drew to a close, it seemed that the crowds only attempted to milk the day for all it was worth. No one appeared anxious to leave; in fact, no one seemed to have much else on their agenda. Everyone just seemed content to remain until the last bit from their souvenir Stein was downed.   After all, isn’t that what Addison Oktoberfest is all about?

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