Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

October 4, 2014 at 7:11am

Words & Photos: Oktoberfest Northwest at Washington State Fairgrounds

I know, I know. But really, every angle was sort of perfect. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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Oktoberfest Northwest is a hilarious celebration of dirndls and German shepherd-sized beer mugs, and nothing you can ever do can prepare you for the onslaught of Bavarian kitsch. As it should be. As is the whole point, really. Nobody at the Washington State Fairgrounds yesterday really cared that the original Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the wedding of a crown prince and a princess, but we should at least thank them for making their wedding into a multi-day festival for us commoners. We should toast the royal couple for allowing us to watch the baseball playoffs in lederhosen, to play beer pong in Alpin hats, to pose for photos with a gnome and his wife, to eat delicious fried pork from Gutes Essen Haus (so yum!), to wearing funny T-shirts and eat fudge (yes, that too!).

I get how easy it is to bash this bash held in a giant building in Puyallup, how ripe is the target, how irresistible to poke fun at polka, absurd hammering of nails into stumps, the zany obstacle course just to grab a beer, a 6-foot-2 beauty posing for snapshots and the cabbage rolls and the wiener dog races and Stein Run and whatever the hell else. Oktoberfest Northwest begs to be satirized, ridiculed, taunted from afar by the naysayers who've never been. It's easy. Also, pointless.

Because there's a terrific irony about denouncing Oktoberfest Northwest with anything resembling cultural or moral authority: the more you mock it, the dumber you look. And the better the oompah band sounds.

See, there is only one overarching, indisputable truth about Oktoberfest Northwest: You have to see it for yourself. You just have to go. But, read this first.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, $10 Saturday, $5 Sunday,

Hammerschlagen. Because not everything has to be subtle.

Or serious.

Or lonely.

Not sure. But sort of delicate and beautiful.

A simply irresistible photo.

Because every once in awhile, you just want to throw a bean bag into a hole.

More holes.

She laughed.

She posed.

Manuela Horn lit up Oktoberfest Northwest.

And that's not just the Hacker-Pschorr Weiss talking. Mostly. Manuela Horn, the most awesome human at the beer festival.

Doug and Lynn Mackey were there and in a land faraway, which could be a shot of the Tetons, really.

Honey, let me build us a weird giant chair and I'll guarantee you crazy people will climb up into it, K?

Too much Doug Mackey?

Is this better? Yes!

Bruno's European Restaurant, just keepin' it real, yo.

Gutes Essen Haus' pork schnitzel plate is the schnitzel.

Good times and signs at the Gutes Essen Haus.

This. This is pretty much describes the music I heard yesterday at Oktoberfest Northwest. REO Speedwagon? Skrillex? Iron Butterfly? Not really.

Screw your fancy million-dollar, light show. When you have "real" Oktoberfest style, this is how you roll.

These are your parents on Warsteiner Dunkel.

He or she would appear every so often and lead a dance, and it might look silly and strange, but it was actually quite beautiful, and I would like to hereby thank him, whoever he or she is.


What happens after you drink a giant stein of Warsteiner Oktoberfest on stage.

Deer head? Check.

You didn't expect a dude in a yellow security jacket to bring in the ceremonial firkin, did you?

And the firkin parade was launched.

Of course Manuela Horn lead the firkin parade.

He was in the parade.

So were these folks.

Go ahead, just walk on by like this was the most normal thing you'll see all day, which it probably was.

After the tapping of the firkin, the only and most violent event at Oktoberfest Northwest. The moment when all the happy goodness of the event gets a bit too much, and the opportunity for free beer brings out the evil.

Beer Pong, not exactly anywhere near as badass as, say, a stein-holding contest. But who cares? This is, like, new school silly Oktoberfest.

... And a chance to bond over competition.

The last scene I saw headed out the door. Lovely, really.

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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