Monday, October 1, 2012


I have a confession to make ..... I've always secretly loved the chicken dance.  It's such happy, fun music and the dance is a goofy good time.  (I'll bet it's many people's guilty pleasure - they just won't admit it.)

And what better place to get my chicken dance fix than .......OKTOBERFEST!!

Size matters!  Click on any photo to enjoy a larger version.


Ever since Cody started seminary at Mt. Angel, Oktoberfest has given us an excuse to visit.  It's become a family tradition.   This tiny town puts on the best Oktoberfest in the Pacific Northwest.

Harvest monument in the center of town

Mt. Angel is located smack-dab in the heart of the Willamette River Valley farmlands.  The rich soil, temperate climate, and ample rainfall means just about anything grows here - and grows well.  This ensures bountiful yields - and rockin' harvest festivals!

It's not Oktoberfest without bratwurst

After meeting Cody at Mt. Angel Abbey, my hubby, kids and I  headed in to town.  First stop - find us some bratwurst!  And we knew just the place - the Mt. Angel Sausage Company.  This place was prepared for the masses.  They had dozens of grills out front with coils of those yummy German sausages browning.  You could get one with or without sauerkraut and grilled onions.

Lots of cute food carts

All four of us ordered our brats, and then settled inside the Sausage Company's ample dining area.  To my delight, they offered a full bar.  Roger and I each enjoyed a pint of hearty, dark German beer.  Wunderbar!

My kids opt for non-alcoholic beverages

Our bellies satisfied, it was time for some dessert.  And the festival did not disappoint!  Lining the main streets, were food booths of every shape and size, offering a smorgasbord of choices.  My family walked the circuit up and down, before a cart selling marionberry cobbler finally called my name.

A crowd gathers to watch the dancers

I was handed an enormous bowl brimming with delicious purple berries, topped by a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Meaning to share, I grabbed extra spoons.  But Roger only took a couple bites and my kids abstained.  Poor me - I was forced to eat this ginormous confection all by myself!

Young boy dancers

Then we wandered into the town square, ground zero for Oktoberfest action.  A crowd had gathered, and I wormed my way onto the fringe to see what was happening.  A group of young boys had just begun to dance.  

As opposed to "non-original" lederhosen?

I found a fairly clear vantage, and snapped photos of the action.  The boys were performing something that I think was called the "bench dance."  Whatever it was, they did a great job.

Another dance group

After the boys finished, a dozen couples waltzed into the town square.  They began a spirited folk dance that was great fun to watch.  I switched to my zoom lens to better capture all the action.

Spin the lady

What a blast shooting photos of the dancers!  I took way too many shots, but it was good practice.

He's been to a few of these events

This man was sitting right in front of me.  I loved his hat.  What a great collection of pins.  Looks like he's been to quite a few Oktoberfest celebrations!

These dancers know how to have a good time

Here's one more shot of the dancers.  They were very entertaining to watch (and photograph too!)  Looked like everyone was having a blast.

The glockenspiel in the town square

After the dancers were done, the scheduled entertainment took a break. We followed the crowd spilling into the downtown core near Mt. Angel's glockenspiel.  This clock tower, attached to a local restaurant, periodically opens its doors to reveal a host of life-size animated wooden figures.  These carvings put on a show for visitors that commemorates the town's history.  Timing is everything - we happened to wander in just as the tower's doors opened.

Loved the costumes!

I spied a cute older couple decked out in traditional German costume.  They stood by the harvest monument posing for photos.  They must have had an important role in this festival, as Roger spotted their likeness recreated in one of the harvest monument's panels (check out my second photo).

It's time for the chicken dance!

Strolling back towards the performance area, I saw people gathering.  Then I heard a familiar tune.  Was it....?  Yes, it was!  Yahoo!  Time for the chicken dance!

Goofy good fun

Of course, there was no way Roger was gonna do this dance with me (he'd only had one beer - not nearly enough to get him up there).  And my kids would rather die than do the chicken dance with their mother.  So I was left on the sidelines to enjoy as a spectator.  At least I had my camera.  It was good fun capturing this delightful frenzy.

A photo with my kids

But later my kids did consent to one photograph with their mother.  As I keep saying, one day they'll be glad I take all these photos.  (I may not live to see the day though!)

As in previous years, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest 2012 did not disappoint.  Good food, great beer, and rollicking entertainment - this town festival has it all.  Can't wait for Oktoberfest 2013!

(And maybe.....just maybe.......I'll get someone to do the chicken dance with me.)

Linking to:  Share Your Cup Thursday and This or That Thursday.


  1. What great fun! There's a little German tourist town in northern Georgia called Helen that has a huge Ocktoberfest every year. This has whetted my appetite to check when it is and maybe go. Haven't been in several years. The pic of your kids with you is priceless. I'd be turning that into an 8x10 and putting it somewhere in my house. Looks like it was a great day of family fun.

  2. That looks like so much fun! Those brat coils are huge.

  3. That looks like lots of fun! I love the spiral bratwurst. What a cool place to enjoy the freshest brews and brats!

  4. what a fun town I hadn't heard of mt angle before adding to my list. Have you been to leavenworth in washington it is the only town I had heard of till you showed us this one is a little german town.

  5. What a fun post! :) I love lifestyle / story posts the most......

  6. Oh that looks like fun! I would love to go to that and walk around. And I would definitely do the chicken dance with you, beer or no beer!!


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