Oktoberfest 2010

“Oans, zwoa, g’suffa”! This last weekend, I had the privilege of attending Breckenridge’s own Oktoberfest … a weekend of food, beverage, merry-making and, if we’re lucky … warm sunshine! Well, we all should have bought lottery tickets, because the unfiltered sun was soaking into our skin, just like the unfiltered bier soaking into the lederhosen of an embarrassed, yet jolly, few (and I think you know who you are). Mother Nature could not have been more welcoming of the hundreds of revelers that made a weekend getaway out of visiting historic downtown Breckenridge, with libation and schnitzel in-hand.

The celebration dates back to October 12th, 1810 … when the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Prince Louis, married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and all of Munich’s citizens were invited to the party on the city gates’ lawn. Apparently, people were such fans of celebratory revelry that the ‘party’ part of the tradition lives on … to the tune of what I’m sure is many hundreds of thousands of dollars, this assumption based on spaetzle pricing alone (I valiantly tried to search for stateside Oktoberfest revenue stats for a good 10 minutes, but my search proved fruitless … perhaps ‘the industry’ is protective of the income figures generated from selling a bowl of boiled flour bits for the price of two complete value meals or a week’s worth of microwave lunches to fiscal clarity-impaired vacationers). But the disposable spending boon that Oktoberfest is, aside …

It’s a wonderful way to wrap up a summer. While Labor Day does commemorate an important idea and should continue to be highly valued in the American psyche for reasons other than the extra day off of work, it doesn’t offer the exotic escapism that dressing up in old-world costumes and slamming hearty, genuine mugs full of sudsy brew over knotty pine tables with a few hundred of your newest best friends does. Add to this the mountain aspens putting on their best show, framing each of your photos with an almost startling, golden glow … it’s an experience worth more than the proudly-crafted bier, poured and enjoyed in the course of an afternoon … it’s warm, convivial memories to last through the coming Winter, long after the ‘sexy barmaid’ dirndls have been put away.