By Rachel Hastings
Es ist fast Oktober statt — it is almost October, and that means Oktoberfest is close at hand. Following the highly-acclaimed Addison Oktoberfest this past weekend, the Dallas-Fort Worth area will spend the next few weeks celebrating its German heritage with beer and bratwurst, folk bands and polka-dancing.
In the early 1800s, Texas became home to the hundreds of German immigrants who left the cities of the East Coast for the plentiful lands of the American Southwest. These immigrants settled in Texas farm towns, from the plains of Dallas-Fort Worth to the Rio Grande, and brought with them their lively music, stories, cuisine and other aspects of their culture. To this day, German traditions such as Oktoberfest continue to play a large role in the social life of Texas communities.
Addison’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 18-21) exemplified this continuity of tradition. The four-day annual celebration offered arts and crafts booths hosted by local vendors, a biergarten serving authentic German draft beers and brauhaus-style foods and a German pastry shop. There was even a chance to catch up on both German and American sports on screens inside the nearby convention center.
The event coordinators tried to keep the entertainment as close to the real thing as they possibly could, according to the city of Addison’s director of special events Barbara Kovacevich.
“For nearly three decades, Addison Oktoberfest has sought to be the most authentic Oktoberfest celebration in North America,” Kovacevich said.
Every detail of Addison’s celebration replicated the Munich Oktoberfest as closely as possible.
“From the food and beverage, which is selected because of its similarity to those served in Munich to the outdoor décor and activities, which is much like Munich’s famed Wies’n, to the 30,000 square foot Schloss Addison main tent with its communal tables and hanging banners – which is much like the various brewery tents found at Munich’s Oktoberfest, every aspect of Addison Oktoberfest is designed to reflect this cultural festival with authenticity,” Kovacevich said.
Even the music was imported directly from Germany, Kovacevich noted. “Addison brings in a band from Munich, the Evergreens, to ensure the most authentic and entertaining entertainment array possible,” Kovacevich said.
If you missed this event, but are still interested in experiencing the hearty fun of a German Oktoberfest, check out some of the other upcoming activities Dallas has to offer.
1. Fort Worth Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K presented by Brewtopia: Saturday, Sept. 27
Dress up in your favorite dirndl or lederhosen and run a 5K race for prizes. Winners of the costume contest will have the privilege of tapping the first keg following the race. After the awards are delivered and you receive your Oktoberfest 5K t-shirt, enjoy a beer from the biergarten, soft pretzels and other German treats, and the upbeat music of a live polka band. Proceeds from the race will benefit the No Brother Fights Alone Foundation. To register online, or to find more information, please visit www.rahroktoberfest.com.
2.McKinney Oktoberfest: Sept. 26-28
If you are not interested in running a race yourself, McKinney has added a new and adorable event you may find more amusing: weenie dog racing. While watching this popular event, McKinney Oktoberfest attendees will have the opportunity to sample all sorts of foods provided by the restaurants of downtown McKinney, such as potato pancakes, kettle corn, bratwurst, sauerkraut and many other treats. In addition, different traditional German bands will be playing throughout the weekend, including the Munich-based Evergreens from the Addison line-up. General admission is free. For more information, visit www.mckinneytexas.org.
3. The 13th Annual Southlake Oktoberfest: Oct. 3-5
Join the Southlake Chamber of Commerce for a weekend of Bavarian food, beer and polka dancing to live music. The lineup for this event includes the Swiss Horns, Brave Combo, Alpine Dancers and various other groups. In addition, handcrafted arts and crafts booths will be offering Bavarian-style souvenirs for sale throughout the event. General admission is free. For more information, visit www.oktoberfestsouthlake.com.