|Abbey Church - Mt. Angel Seminary|
Mt. Angel is known for putting on the best Oktoberfest celebration around. Ever since my son Cody began attending seminary in this tiny town, going to Oktoberfest has become an annual tradition. Held in mid-September, this year I met my brother Dale and his family for the festivities.
|Waiting for the bells to ring|
Cody was more than happy to show his aunt, uncle and nephews around the seminary. Located on a hilltop just outside of town, it's a beautiful, peaceful place. Well.....except when the bells in the Abbey church ring.
There's lots of interesting things to see at Mt. Angel seminary. The Abbey church is stunningly beautiful. The library, designed by a world-renowned architect, is an amazing building. And they even have a museum, showcasing not only religious artifacts, but also a huge collection of taxidermy animals, and the world's largest hairball.
|Cody enjoys his brat|
After touring the seminary grounds for an hour, our stomachs started to rumble. High time to head into town for some bratwurst!
The food at Mt. Angel's Oktoberfest is always top-notch. We stood in a long line, mouths watering, watching the coils of bratwurst cooking on huge griddles. After enjoying a delicious sausage, curly fries, and an amazing dark German beer, I was ready to peruse the rest of the festival's offerings.
|"Party size" kettlecorn|
Mt. Angel's streets were lined with booths, hawking every kind of food imaginable. There was onion rings, funnel cakes, deep-fried oreos (ugh!), and marionberry cobbler (my personal favorite). One sweet girl was promoting a "party size" bag of kettlecorn.
Huge buildings were set up as beer and wine gardens. For a small fee, one could go inside, enjoy an alcoholic beverage (or two), and enjoy lots of German-themed entertainment.
|Harvest decorations in the city square|
The town square was decked out in harvest decor.
|Time for the chicken dance!|
My favorite part of Oktoberfest is the music and dancing. One intersection is blocked off, ringed by bleachers, with a bandstand on one corner. There's almost always a band playing, someone singing, or a group dancing.
|These girls were great dancers|
About the time Cody and I walked by, the band struck up a familiar tune. It was the chicken dance - my favorite! A group of young girls in traditional costumes led the crowd in a rousing rendition.
|Everyone was having fun|
There's nothing I love more than bopping along to a happy tune. I wiggled along on the sidelines (totally embarrassing my son, tee-hee!)
|Max even got in on the dancing|
My brother and his family arrived just as the chicken dance was finishing up. We all took a seat in the bleachers to enjoy more of the show. The band was great - they launched into another cheerful German tune. My oldest nephew Max was even brave enough to get up and dance a few jigs (with some bribery from his parents!)
|These men performed a traditional dance|
Then the band struck up music to a traditional men's dance. I don't remember the name, but it involved slapping the side of your feet, and there were supposedly contests back in the old world, where men completed to see who was the fastest. Two guys in lederhosen hopped into the dancing circle and showed us how it's done. They put on a great show.
|They were very fun to watch|
Even if I didn't come from German ancestry, I'd still love Oktoberfest. Great food, entertaining dancing, and lively, upbeat music - what's not to enjoy? A happy, fun festival, I look forward to every fall.
Sharing with: Our World Tuesday.