Talk about a big party, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people there for opening week. There were 4-5 entertainment areas full of tables and seats and a constant rotation of musicians and other acts, all thoroughly entertaining.
I have to say the biggest let down of the whole night was the cost. It was over $20 just to get through the door each. That didn’t cost the price of anything – just admission. Once you got in through the TSA-like screening, it was $7 a beer. Granted – it was good beer – but I thought $7 was a bit much considering how much we paid to get in. Plus, you have to add in any food or souvenirs. They have to make a killing off of this thing.
As much of a put-off the prices were, the event itself was still a lot of fun. My favorite part was people watching and seeing all the crazy costumes and hats. I think I missed the memo on the hat situation. If we go again, lederhosen or funky hats will be a must. At least I got a sweet pic of me in one of those wooden cutouts with a hat…
A little history…
The first Leavenworth Oktoberfest was held in 1998 and has been going strong ever since. Proceeds from the event benefits Projekt Bayern, an organization established to help “promote and enhance the Old World Bavarian theme throughout the city of Leavenworth and its surrounding region.”
A few more tidbits about the event from the website:
The festival continued to thrive each year and in 2003, a second weekend was added and two bands were brought in from Germany in addition to many performers from the US and Canada. By 2005 attendance had grown to 10,000+ and the Leavenworth festival was ranked as one of the top Oktoberfest celebrations in the country.
At the end of the night there were free shuttles going to and from the major campgrounds and hotels that were not within walking distance, which was so nice. As it turned out, both of us would have been fine to drive, but it’s great to know for future reference and my parents didn’t have to stay out late with us.
Actually the bus ride home turned out to be one of the most entertaining parts of the night. We had to wait for a while before our shuttle got there and we just eavesdropped and laughed to ourselves. People are too funny sometimes. There’s nothing like a grown man in lederhosen to turn a what would normally be an annoying drunkard into a hilarious spectacle. A big shout out to you, bus stop lederhosen guy! The final days for Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest are this weekend. I would definitely recommend it.