Oktoberfest brings German culture to Bakersfield

By Monica Martinez
Staff Writer

On October 4, the 4th annual Bakersfield Oktoberfest was celebrated in Stramler Park. Anyone 21years or older was welcome to join the event, which included a selection of  German beers, food, and music.

According to their website, http://www.bakersfieldoctoberfest.com, the objective of the event is, “to bring a traditional German Oktoberfest to Bakersfield”. Although the Bakersfield version of Oktoberfest is much smaller than the original, held in Germany, everyone who attended seemed tohave a great time.

John Homes, 32, who was dressed in the traditional German male attire, known as alederhosen, shared that he had recently visited Germany and, “did not plan on ever wearing the lederhosen,” but when he was invited by a friend to the Bakersfield Oktoberfest, he could not pass the opportunity.

Like Homes, many participants, both male and female, wore traditional clothing in vibrant colors. Among them where 3-year volunteers, Raime Race, Christine Chisholm and Crystal Chisholm, who found that Oktoberfest “gets bigger every year.”This year, they were in charge of distributing the food sale tickets, which cost $15 for a dinner. The dinner included three options to choose from. Each plate had German style potatoes, beans, and a roll as well as the main dish, which included two sausages, a vegi-burger, or tri-tip.  Race said that, “The food is the main attraction; it keeps people coming back.” As if the food and drinks were not enough, the night’s entertainment also excelled.

“You can’t miss the yodeling contest,” added Chisholm, “It’s always very entertaining.”

The most memorable part of the event was the music. A live Polka band, whose members are all of German descent, but each born in a different place added excitement and energy throughout the night. The music had many couples dancing, but when the lead singer of the band put a rooster mask over his face the energy went wild. He then got off the stage and into the crowd to lead the chicken dance in which most people participated, adding a comical aspect to the evening.

While this year’s Bakersfield Oktoberfest has already passed, event planners are already working on the next one and hope Bakersfield Oktoberfest continues growing and spreading German culture into our community.

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