On September 19, I attended an unusual event: the Addison Oktoberfest, a classic beer festival that’s supposed to be the biggest outside of Munich. While I didn’t think it was all that huge, it was big enough, and we had a good time. Aside from a couple of tastings, though, we didn’t have any beer; it was simply too expensive. It was more expensive than airport beer, and that’s expensive indeed.
Before I launch into the description of the event, I want to answer a question that’s been troubling me for some time now: why the heck is the Addison Oktoberfest in September? The answer, as it turns out, is that that’s when the Munich Oktoberfest starts — so they’re trying to be as accurate as possible. I’m not sure why Oktoberfest starts in September in Munich, but I suspect it has something to do with that old Julian-to-Gregorian calendar change that they did a few centuries back. Or maybe not.
Anyway — we headed over on a Friday afternoon at 5 PM, right about the time it was starting. In fact, we had to wait for a while for them to open the gates, but we were among the first people in. Once you troop past the oh-so-German carnival (not) and past all the food booths, which are exactly the same as you see at any event (except maybe the one for skillet potatoes, and we have those in Texas anyway), you get to the Biergarten.
The Biergarten is the whole point of a beer festival — it’s a place, literally a beer garden, where you can buy beer, sit down, and drink it. The beers were many and varied, but mostly of German origin — and they must have been brewed from gold, because they cost the Earth. This is not that unusual, of course; festivals are always, and I mean always, relentlessly mercenary. Why else would one turkey leg cost more than a whole turkey? This year they’re six bucks each. That’s a buck <>
the music here, but take a look at them horns. Not only are there some tubas in use, look at the table — those are those big, long alpine horns you see in the Riccola commercials.
Addison Oktoberfest is over for 2008, but it will surely return in 2009. Keep an eye on the Town of Addison’s entertainment website, http://www.addisontexas.net/. This year they charged $5 to get in, and I suspect the same will be the case next year. Tickets for rides and concessions cost a buck each (so why can’t we just use dollars?), and believe me, you’ll need a lot of them for just about anything. Beer costs as much as $12 a pop if you want the commemorative mug.