Beer! A German Oktoberfest experience in Sierra Vista

What major fun-filled event involves imbibing massive quantities of beer and eating mountainous amounts of bratwurst? A clue – do you know the tune to the drinking song “Ein Prozit. Ein Prozit, Der Gemutlichkeit”? 

Naturally, you conjure images of huge beer tents where dirndl-garbed beer maidens hoist a dozen or more one-liter mugs of amber lager at the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich. I just learned that these beer-maidens earn about $3,500 (and huge arm muscles, no doubt) for their waitressing skills during the 16-day festival. I wonder how much the lederhosen’d musicians make? 

Back to topic. Munich is the place, but if you don’t have the time or funds to zip over to Munich, then come to Sierra Vista to enjoy our Oktoberfest. 

It’s certainly on a smaller scale, after all how many places can accommodate the almost 7-million visitors that swarm into Munich?  But, the fun and festivities are authentic as are the outstanding food choices.  In my opinion, that goes back to the German word “Gemutlichkeit.” Many say that it doesn’t have an exact translation into English — it’s congeniality, conviviality, good cheer and such.  After having experienced Oktoberfest in Munich, I think it’s all that and more.  It’s the freedom to show one another warmth and friendliness.

I clinked many a stein with folks, whose names I never learned, in the Munich beer tents, as I have at the Sierra Vista Oktoberfest. I’ve sung off-key with many more during the same celebrations. More than the drinking, the swaying, the singing and the eating, it’s fun. Sierra Vista has a large German-American community who annually share with us their most convivial tradition. And you’re invited.

Personally, I’m on a continued quest to decide if I prefer the bratwurst or the schnitzel. 

If you don’t know why Oktoberfest is celebrated or better yet, why it’s called Oktoberfest and held in September, just read on.  In October of 1810, nearly 200 years ago, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig I (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese. And let the celebrations begin! That year, the festivities lasted a mere five days. But five days is not nearly enough time to enjoy the music, the singing, the eating and of course, the drinking. So as the years and the centuries went on, the festivities lasted longer and began earlier to take advantage of the nicer weather in September. So, currently, the 16-day celebration takes place up to and including the first Sunday in October.  

Come, hoist your beer stein, link arms and sway to the music, or even sing along, eat some bratwurst and enjoy the feeling of Gemutlichkeit at the Sierra Vista Oktoberfest on September 12 & 13 in the Veterans’ Memorial Park.

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