Yes, We Conquered Oktoberfest

By: Tom Malone

My brother and I exited the train with the swarm of travelers on a journey to the largest festival in the world: Munich’s Oktoberfest. The sun illuminated the late morning blue sky and the surrounding cityscape.

Entering the front gates, we stopped in awe of the tens of thousands of people grouped in the walkways and tents inside the fairgrounds. We walked to the Paulaner tent and found a table outside. A young German family sat next to us, explaining the cultural significance of Oktoberfest. A celebration of all things Bavarian, the ‘Fest draws crowds from every corner of the world.

After a stein or two, we cruised through the carnival-game section of the festival. I won a fake rose by exhibiting my sharpshooting skills, while my brother won a prize at another booth. I beat him at our blanket-slide race after that.

Then we saw it. The five-loop, Olympic-themed, humongously epic roller coaster. Naturally, we sat in the front of the car so we could be the first to feel the rush of the drops and loops. Behind us, the large German man in lederhosen shrieked the entire time.

We stopped at a chicken stand after the roller coaster and ordered a whole chicken, which we ate quickly. Then, we made our way to another brewer’s tent.  We found a seat outside. A man from southern Brazil and a young couple from England sat near us. After talking with them about for a long time, my brother and I found another tent.

The sun sank and the crowd livened incredibly. We stood at a single table inside the Hofbrauhaus tent with people from Germany, Spain, Brazil, New York, China, and New Zealand. The New York gentleman bought the entire table a round of steins at ten euros a piece.

We laughed as we sang classic American tunes played by the live German band. We stayed until the final bell. As we shuffled through the exit gate and onto the train, we dreaded the next morning’s 5 a.m. wake-up in preparation for the Munich airport. Returning to our hotel, we knew that we conquered the legend that is Oktoberfest.

*Photo By: Tom Malone
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