Sunday, September 20, 2015

Parker Oktoberfest! Fun for the Entire Family!


Is there a better way to spend one of the last lovely days of summer than to attend a wonderful outdoor festival? My husband and I attended the 10th annual Parker Oktoberfest this past weekend, held in O'Brien Park, in the beautiful town of Parker, Colorado. We looked forward to a day of authentic German music, dancing, beer and food. There was a giant Biergarten and entertainment tent set up on the grounds, as well as many umbrella shaded tables nearby, in which to enjoy the food and entertainment. The Parker Oktoberfest has been an annual fundraising event for the last ten years, to raise money for the Colorado Council of Arts Science and Culture operating budget to support area arts, science and cultural programs. This year they partnered with the Colorado chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce to co-produce the event.
The tradition of an "Oktoberfest" started in Munich, Germany on October 12, 1810 as a celebration to honor the marriage between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. The party was so popular it became an annual celebration.  It is also associated with the end of harvest and often held at the end of the last Saturday of September to the first Sunday of October.  Many German Americans continue this tradition in their communities. Have you ever attended one?


(All photos, and photo collages, in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on).


There was free admission to the Parker Oktoberfest festival, and as soon we arrived we went over to the big tent to listen to the Continentals playing a variety of traditional German songs.


Soon afterward, the Denver Kickers Schuhplattler Dance Group were introduced.


They performed many delightful traditional German/Bavarian dances.


It was really fun to watch the skill and the gusto which the dancers exhibited.  I was particularly amused by the cute little daughter of one of the dancers, who was also dressed in costume, and who watched from the sidelines and joined in the dance from time to time.


I took videos of some of the dances which you can watch on my Mille Fiori Favoriti facebook page on their direct links: here, and here and here.


I could smell the delicious aromas of food in the air, and so we walked around to see what some of the food vendors were selling. There was sausages, schnitzel, spatzle, chicken, salmon, bratwurst, knackwurst, sauerbraten, sauerkraut, black forest cake, apple strudel...


....giant soft pretzels and a Paulaner beer selection and wines supplied by Purgatory Cellars of Colorado. We enjoyed eating brats and having a beer a few different times during the day!


We also enjoyed browsing and shopping at the 80 or more vendors that were at the Parker Oktoberfest. There was a variety of merchandise, services and information booths available, some of which you can see in the photo collage above.


My husband also enjoyed looking at the features of the two Volkswagen vehicles on display by one of the festival sponsors.


We went back to the large tent to sit down and enjoyed watching the TEV Edelweiss Volktanz Group. They performed a few traditional German dances and afterwards invited the audience to join in.


The 2015 Miss Oktoberfest, Lily Goetze, also joined in a dance with the group and other audience members!


The Parker Oktoberfest is geared towards family fun, and the family entertainment area had lots of children activities, games and rides to enjoy. There was a "competition tent" in the family center, and we watched a junior cherry pie eating contest.....


...as well as an adult Stein Hoist!

Other competitions of the day included a bubble gum blow up contest, yodeling contest, bratwurst eating contest, chicken dance off, and others!


Back in the big tent we listened to the music of the Average German Band.


They played some wonderful traditional polka songs which had the crowd dancing, as you can see on this video on my Mille Fiori Favoriti facebook page, as well as the fun "Chicken Dance" with costume characters that enhanced the young children.  Soon the rooster and chicken had everyone up and "flapping their wings" along to the music.  If you'd like to see a video of the chicken and rooster dancing to another German folk song, click this facebook direct link.


The Denver Kicker Schuhplattler Group also had repeat performances of new dances. They also invited the audience to join in and the tent was filled with music and dancing.


Young, or old, or in-between, everyone had a good time at the Parker Oktoberfest!


My husband and I also enjoyed walking back through a part of historic town of Parker, to where we parked our car. It is a very pretty town, and I know we will return in the future for a longer visit someday.



Autumn tree color has arrived in Colorado at the higher elevations, and will soon arrive in our portion of the Front Range. It is my favorite time of the year!  It is a short season in Colorado so I hope to enjoy every minute of it.  Is fall showing her pretty face in your area?  Have you been enjoying any fall festivals as yet?

I'm linking this post to the following blog events:
Thank you to all the blog hosts!

* In full disclosure I was invited by the German American Chamber of Commerce to attend the Parker Oktoberfest and treated to vouchers for free brats and beer at the festival.  All opinions about the Parker Oktoberfest expressed in this post are mine, and were not influenced by the GACC or the free vouchers.

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35 comments:

ladyfi said...

THat looks like a lot of fun!

Sarah said...

There is an Oktoberfest near Austin each year, but I've not been in many years. This looks like a festive event.

Mersad said...

I want to go to the real thing here in Europe soon, but these images are just so happy and candid. It's almost like being there right now. If you like you can link up on the latest edition of Through My Lens

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, this Oktoberfest looks like fun for the whole family. I love the costumes and the dancers. The food looks yummy too. I am sure the beer is great too. Wonderful series of photos! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

Even though I'm part German, I've never been to an Oktoberfest--aside from the one at Disney. It sure looks as if they pulled out all of the stops. Thanks for making Blue Monday special.

Happy Blue Monday!

Cathy Keller said...

My how things have changed in parker. When I was a kid It was just a wide spot in the road. We used to travel there in the fall just to see the foliage. Wonderful photos and I'll just bet you had a wonderful time. Enjoy the colors! They're turning here, too! Wishing you well!

Betsy Adams said...

Not THAT is a REAL festival... Wow ---would be so much fun.. Glad you got to attend and get the free beer and free brats... YUM....

We have a TINY Oktoberfest here in our area ---but other than food and a little music and dancing, that's about it...

Hugs,
Betsy

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm ashamed to say I've never attended an Oktoberfest event and I'm third generation German-American. I had no idea they were so much fun!
Sam

NC Sue said...

We're hoping to go to an Oktoberfest this week - looking forward to it.
Hope to see you at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/steam-powered-whatchamacallits.html

Donna said...

Looks like fun...and oh the food....I am part German and I love the food and pastries.

Cathy said...

Looks like fun! I love real German food. The wine is great too. Beautiful pictures Pat!

Cathy said...

I forgot to add our nights and mornings are cooler. A little hint of Fall. Tomorrow we are supposed to get one third of an entire summers rain in one day. I expect flooded roads and arroyos. I`m sure the Skywalk will close. Glad I did my shopping today!

happywonderer.com said...

That really does look like lots of fun!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Such fun Pat. Hubby and I used to go to Toronto for the big Octoberfest at Ontario Place for many years but now we don't bother.
This festival has a bit of everything! Especially the food, wow!
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

carol l mckenna said...

Fun times and Fun Photos! Beautiful!

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Wandering Wren said...

Always makes me smile that Octoberfest is in September! My daughter is going to Munich to join in the excitement this year! Lucky you having a special invite as it looks fabulous fun :)
Wren x

Barb said...

Hi Pat, Breckenridge has an annual Octoberfest (in Sept), and we usually attend because our friend plays the trombone in the Summit Orchestra sharing polkas and marches for the event. I believe some of those same dancers come to Breck and put on a fine show. I like that Parker's event seems to be on grass. Ours is down Main Street and looks like a carnival. Guess where I'm hiking tomorrow with friends - Guanella Pass! I'll let you know how the color is.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. Great event for the family.

Fun60 said...

So much entertainment and fun and all for free. Now that's what I call a fantastic festival.

Gracie said...

It really seems Germany, not Colorado! We were in Munich a few years back for this and we had so much fun, no sleep but so much fun!!....lol..

Margaret Adamson said...

WOW! What a fabulous time you all must have had. Gorgeous coloured costumes and great dances

Marie C said...

what fun. parker looks like a lovely town, and the celebration so much fun for everyone...my caps key isn't working...i usually use lots of exclamation points....wonder what's going on. anyway you will have to imagine my joy at this delightful post.

Al said...

That looks like fun. I've driven past that park many times on 83!

TexWisGirl said...

a lot of fun!!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It looks like way too much fun! :)

diane b said...

Wow they really know how to put on a great festival there. So much fun to see and do. We have Oktoberfest
here in Brisbane but I haven't been. TOH would love to sink his teeth into those Bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Pride In Photos said...

Joining you here from Grand Social...This festival looks like a blast!!! My husband and I just bought our first German outfits to wear at a big Octoberfest Party being thrown up in Indiana next month. Can I tell you, I look ridiculous!!! Smile...Have a great weekend. Laurie @ Pride in Photos

Nancy's Notes said...

What a festival, love it! German music, dancing, beer and great food, I would love to go to a festival just like that! I've been and it was so many years ago, you've inspired me to go again!

Have a Daily said...

Millie, love going to Octoberfest! We have one that is held in a Ski Resort in the Salt Lake area. Seeing your photos took me back to when our daughter worked there and we attended. Haven't been in quite a few years. We need to go again. Good food and fun! What's not to love? Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fun ...a family friendly festival is always great.