Dachshunds, Polka Alongside Beer At Oktoberfest

Photo: Taylor Kirby


Photo: Taylor Kirby
Photo: Taylor Kirby

The aromas of fresh weinershinitzel, greasy two-pound turkey legs, and the unlimited beer have brought people together with the one thing that matters the most: celebrating good times alongside great company. The Denver Oktoberfest is back for its 47th year, and 2016’s event was no exception to bringing a burst of German culture onto the streets of Denver.

Considered one of the best and biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States, the boozy fest has its roots far back in history. Originally established in the early 1800s after newly-married German royalty decided to hanker down with the local townspeople. Today, this mega-event brings more than 350,000 people to downtown Denver to drink, eat, and dance.

At Denver’s Oktoberfest celebrations, eating and dancing come second only to chugging infamous German beer. During the day, a cold beer chilled those severely affected by abnormally toasty September weather. One of their standout beverages included the immaculate Franziskaner ($6), a great choice for beginner beer drinkers. This spritzy beverage included the zippiness of different citrus flavors and easily paired with the pretzel next door.

For those who weren’t there for the beer, the delicacies worth eating enticed even the most ardent calorie counters. Food ranged from Bratwurst to Weinershitzel to the replica of a small baseball bat also known as the Turkey Leg. Whiffs of these fried foods swirled around the atmosphere, making visitors pull out their wallets again and again. The enormous turkey leg was the equivalent in size to most human heads and took more than half an hour to chow down. Even then, full belly notwithstanding, the craving for other treats couldn’t be contained for very long.

The festival may seem like a beer-palooza, but more than anything, it brought the Denver community together regardless of nationality or race.

As the traditional polka music blared through the venue, families and friends gathered around remembering that fall is here and so are the laughs. Everybody wore their German best at the annual event. Men wore their lederhosen passed down from generations, and women boasted their empowerment and beauty within their dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress. Diversity is constantly evolving, a fact showcased at the Denver Oktoberfest.

The one event that transported visitors into Germany without leaving the mile high state showcased the best of puppy entertainment. On Oct. 2, the last day of the two-week event, hundreds swarmed the small block of Larimer to see the finest Dachshunds around in the Long Dog Derby, which brought together the finest of the breed. Some were longer, some shorter, but all were notoriously spunky. They all attempted to run down a 20 foot track without easily being distracted by the overwhelmingly large audience.

Though beer was once the original intent of this event, that stereotype was proved wrong as the people of Denver gathered to watch each other dance to polka music, eat in the halls of table, or simply people watch. It might be a year from now until Oktoberfest lands in Denver once again, but the aura of community and friendship as portrayed by Oktoberfest is here to stay throughout the autumn season and beyond.

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