Monday, September 29, 2014

Oktoberfest! pa!  Strike up the tubas, tune those accordions, dust off your dancin' shoes, and break out the bratwurst.  Oktoberfest has arrived in Mt. Angel, Oregon!

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.

Bratwurst time!

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.

Der Weingarten

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.


  1. This looks so fun, I would love to attend something like this, so full of character. I love the traditional clothes, it would be amazing to have a reason to dress like that.

  2. Oh, what fun! Any festival that includes the chicken dance is a festival worth attending :)

    I love the way those dancing men are dressed. I'd never heard of "lederhosen" before. Something new learned today.

    Wonderful photos, Linda.

  3. Beautiful post! Seems you spent a great time!

  4. Great Octoberfest shots, Linda - we had ours in Breck in mid-Sept, too. (I didn't dance...)

  5. It looks like a great time, Linda! I love all the costumes and the buildings. Beautiful architecture. World's largest hairball? Wow! :)

  6. I have never been on a Oktoberfest in München, my friends in Germany did, and even Mr. G. Must be very crowded but apparently a lot of fun too !

  7. ah the joys of octoberfest. looks like it was a great time.

  8. That looks like so much fun - I would love all of that!!

  9. In can't believe it - this looks exactly like the Oktoberfest here! Greetings from Germany,

  10. This sounds like my kinda festival! Wonderful photos of the dances in motion!

  11. Thanks for capturing and presenting that fascinating fest!

  12. We have an Oktoberfest here too, but it's nothing like yours. Looks like fun. Festivals like this are the best for just sitting and people-watching.

  13. That does look like a good day out - and the sausages look fit to beat any appetite!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  14. That looks like so much fun! Your photos made me smile :)

  15. We are going to a friend's Octoberfest this, drinks and fun! As for visiting Colorado in September - A MUST! My favorite time of the year there. The aspens are outstanding. The best display of aspens we ever saw was at the Maroon Bells just out side of the town of Aspen...a bit pricey there, but wow - I would go again anytime.

  16. Awesome! Next year!
    I am always blind-sided by Oktoberfests that happen in September.Dangit.

  17. That looks like fun, but I'll take the beer over the bratwurst.

  18. Sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not a "beer" drinker but I would enjoy the dancing and the food. Those onions and sausage looked mighty tasty.

  19. I LOVE it up at the Abbey! It is always so peaceful and beautiful there. We almost made it to Oktoberfest there this year and then the day arrived and the ocean called my name:)
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: I love the dancing too--and the good food!


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