Saturday, October 16, 2004


Ok, call me bold, but I decided to brave the wind, as it dares me by shifting my LCD on my laptop, to experience the wonder and joy that is the first ever Oktoberfest (spelling is correct, as those putting the event on would attest) at the RiverPark Center in good ol’, rather guten ol’ Owensboro, Kentucky.

So I have to admit, strolling up the sidewalk to the Oktoberfest (I love that little twist on the name) that the anticipation was building of this event. How would it be? How would we, Owensboro, pull off an Oktoberfest? What kind of beer would be here? The food, what would we have? I heard something about the music, the wieners (dogs, not hot) and dancers. So my anticipation was just about to culminate into something tangible…..

…thus I heard the music, and then I saw the singers in their red and black kilts, standing on stage on first street, playing to a small shivering crowd in the lot of the Community Development building. Is that not ironice?

Yes, a smile certainly struck my face. This was fun. Well, this was different, maybe not fun (yet) but different. Thus a smile to my face, because it was at least entertaining to see the first ever Oktoberfest in swing. It was not a forgone conclusion, something, yes something was happening here.

Something that added to my keen interest was the fact that in the middle of this 50 something degree weather, albeit a very pretty fall day, folks were watching the singers/dancers while comfortably sipping their brew…ah yes, just what folks at an Oktoberfest should do. I was indeed thirsty for some suds, as my German ancestry boiled to the surface of my lips, with nothing there yet to meet its rebirth.

So there they were (were they really there?) drinking beer, sitting at tables, being entertained by the German-esque singers/dancers. Hmmmmmm, what next….

I then ventured to the RiverPark patio, greeted by wieners soon after entering the arena. The patio was transformed, well not visibly transformed by barriers, but I could tell that I was entering into a German style “dog show”. The first thing I heard was the MC saying, “We have a Wiener!”

Little wieners everywhere, dogs that is……they were cute, mostly very funny…..little wieners, big wieners, brown wieners, darker brown wieners, boy wieners, and girl wieners….reminds me of the upcoming ballot initiative banning gay marriages in Kentucky.

I digress.

So into the RiverPark Center proper. I find myself definitely thirsty, my German heritage practically begging for the satisfaction of some German suds. I head to the beer counter, ah yes, what better way to celebrate an Oktoberfest (love the name) than drinking German beer? I remember watching some German festival on E television. There were some drunk bastards at that festival. Thousands. Drinking out of those large mugs, just loaded. Men, women, and some that I did not know were which. But they were in their German attire, kilts, etc…and were visibly, almost grotesquely drunk.

Ok, I decided I’m not going to look like that. That impression in Owensboro would not go over well with the locals. “What kind of German beer do you have?” I politely asked. “We have Coors Light, Miller Light, Bud Light, blah blah blah, blah blah blah…” her words fade into oblivion as my German cheer turns into an understanding of a masquerade of a festival. Ok, I’ll take it easy on the folks. “Well, this is the first year we’ve had this festival, and maybe next year we will have some German beer.” Shame shame shame. The younger, more “creative class looking” attendant empathized with my desire for German beer at a friggin’ Oktoberfest. “I’m flabbergasted.” So were the two of them with my use of the word flabbergasted. “Ok, I’ll take a Foster’s.” Australian for beer. What am I doing drinking a Fosters beer at an Oktoberfest?

Give ‘em a break. The shitzenirkem have done their work. Ok, I don’t know if that is German, but it’s all I got.

Ok, now I shall brush my wind blown German heritage brown hair, and congregate with those masquerading at the “German” Oktoberfest. Afterall, I hear the wieners, smell the bratwurst, and my Fosters is staring at me.

Was the Miss Oktoberfest actually Hispanic?

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