The University of Dallas’ annual Oktoberfest celebration kicked off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 with a beer tasting for students who were 21 or older and had purchased tickets.
This year the event was held outdoors on the Mall, as opposed to last year when it was held inside Haggar.
The new addition of a tent filled with rows of picnic tables, as well as this year’s T-shirt design, were meant to recall the Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
Carolyn Mackenzie, the publicity coordinator for Student Programming at the University of Dallas (SPUD), began planning the event with SPUD Director Moey Brown and Traditions Coordinator Katie Spellmeyer over the summer.
“We really wanted to evoke a sense of community,” Mackenzie said. “That it was all gathered in one space really brought everyone together through the course of the whole night. I know Katie [Spellmeyer] really loved the idea of picnic tables in the tent, reminiscent of a German beer hall and the roots of Oktoberfest, not necessarily things we’ve done in the past.”
As in past years, Oktoberfest was inspired by students’ experiences in Europe.
Junior Allison Federer felt that the atmosphere in the tent recalled the communal storytelling environment of the Hofbräuhaus, which she visited during her Rome semester last fall.
The set up made this year’s Oktoberfest reminiscent of the UD Romer tradition to meet up in Munich at the end of 10-day.
However, this year they hoped to also make it enjoyable for people who have not been to Rome.
“The idea was its music, food and merriment,” Mackenzie said. “That encompasses a lot of things, but really it’s a sense of community, everyone coming together to enjoy a tradition.”
In the tent they offered free German chocolate cake as well as $1 pretzels and $2 bratwursts
Freshmen Sophie Gart and Thomas Pecha enjoyed their first Oktoberfest, but agreed it would be even better after they go to Rome.
“I think it will be even funner later when we’re juniors and seniors.” Pecha said.
“I think that the biggest thing was seeing the upperclassmen who had already been to the event, and they were just kind of bringing the experience back and trying to make it as similar as possible,” Gart added.
They thought that the music, from bands The Royal Klobasneks and Woody Pines, added authenticity when they played polka music.
However, Pecha and Gart were not able to get any food, citing long lines and a crowded tent.
“The beer itself was good. The line was pretty inefficient … It took [some people] like an hour to get through and get their samples,” senior Daniel Kopacko, who purchased a ticket for the beer-tasting, said.
Kopacko liked the communal feel of the indoor setup last year, but preferred the setup this year because people weren’t constantly trying to go in and out to get air or smoke.
“I thought it was great this year,” Kopacko said. “I thought it was fantastic. The tents and the tables and everything were great.”
Kopacko also added that he loved the T-shirt design, but was unable to get one because they were sold out in his size.
The T-shirts were apparently very popular. They sold out in the majority of sizes the first day, and by the end of the second day there were only extra- arges remaining.
Mackenzie designed the T-shirts herself, drawing on the Hofbräuhaus for inspiration once again. She taught herself how to use Photoshop and InDesign in order to create the design.
Mackenzie also designed the Snapchat geotag filters for the event, stating that SPUD hopes to have geotags for future events as well.