Sunday, October 9, 2011

Celebrating my German Heritage: Soulard Oktoberfest 2011

Soulard Oktoberfest in St. Louis, MO has become somewhat of a tradition for my husband and myself.  It all started back in 2008.  We had heard about Oktoberfest from some fellow co-workers and decided to check it out.  Since we both have a German heritage -- and JC is very interested in the culture -- we were extremely excited to see what Oktoberfest was all about.

The festival, at the time, was still held in the historic Soulard district at the Market area.  It cost a few bucks to get into the festival and buy a commerotative liter beer mug.  This was our first trip to Soulard and my husband and I fell in love with the historic feel of the neighborhood.  The festival had kegs, and kegs of German imported beer, which JC also loved, and many homemade German style dishes.  We spent the day drinking liters of beer, trying German food and conversing with people.  Many people even brought their dogs with them, as the festival was dog-friendly at the time.  It was an extremely fun, relaxed, enjoyable afternoon.

Two years ago Oktoberfest moved to Lyon Park and out of the historic district.  We visited briefly last year, and were somewhat disappointed with the new location.  We also blamed our Sunday visit, rather than the new location, as the result of the new feel of the festival.

This year we spent all Saturday at Oktoberfest.  We tried a couple German beers and enjoyed some amazing potatoe pancakes.  We event watched a beer festival. 

But, the general consensus of our Oktoberfest party was that the festival has now become overly comercialized.  Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  But the crowds, long restroom lines and fair-like atmosphere has taken away from the original Oktoberfest that my husband and I fell in love with.  

Looking past these complaints I do recommend giving Oktoberfest a try.  It definitly offers you something you can't get at a local fair.  Bands, straight from German, played at various stages, and German import beers were selling by the liter for only $10.  Soulard Oktoberfest is definitely a great way to celebrate fall, a German holiday and try some new food and drink!

Soulard Oktoberfest Crowd

 Here is a link to the Soulard Oktoberfest Website 

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