Okay, so I know that Oktoberfest is a Bavarian thing and it’s supposed to be held in Munich, which it is, and one day I hope to go to the real thing, but America totally took Halloween and made it it’s own, so why can’t Melbourne have an Oktoberfest celebration too?
Well, clearly this is a question that Melbourne-based event organisers have been asking themselves because this year – they’re bloody everywhere!
St Kilda has one, the Mornington Peninsula has one, and Melbourne, well the CBD has multiple, including The Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest, which I went to with a group of friends to see what all the fuss is about.
People always say, oh my God, I want to go to Oktoberfest in Germany so bad, but I never really understood what the fuss was about – but now I get it!
The real Oktoberfest, which originates from a royal wedding celebration, is literally the world’s biggest annual festival. Starting mid-September and running for a little over three weeks, Munich welcomes tens of thousands of tourists and locals into its fairgrounds that has dozens of beer halls, a tonne of entertainment, enough food to put even the biggest foodaholics into a food coma, and a rowdy bunch of people who just want to have a good time!
While Melbourne’s version is a little less grand, we got dressed up and joined in the fun, and even though I kind of felt like a child prostitute wearing a little dress with puffy sleeves, I must confess; I had a pretty good time.
There were a lot of drunks, but none of the bad kind – everyone was actually super friendly! Strangers would happily start conversations with you, people were polite and would let you squeeze past them in tight spaces, and everyone was complimenting everyone’s costumes. But that’s not to say there weren’t plenty of creepers too! Get a bunch of young girls in costumes and you’re bound to find plenty of creepy middle-aged perverts around, but even they couldn’t ruin the atmosphere.
There was a lot of beer, and it was pretty much all German, with the six main Oktoberfest breweries all making an appearance. Ordinarily, I’m not a beer drinker, but my friend managed to find a type that even I didn’t mind. But, for all the non-conformists out there, there was cider, schnapps, wine and plenty of soft drink doing the rounds too.
Although, as the food-aholic that I am, the alcohol isn’t what impressed me – I was much more interested in the food.
Bratwurst and Cheese Kranky Sausages with cheese, onion and sourcrout, to be exact. I mean come on, yum!!!
But, there were also gravy loaded chips, schnitzel burgers and more legs of meat than any one person could possibly eat. Plus, if you were willing to fork out 55 bucks on a hot dog, you could get a one metre one!
Sadly, there wasn’t much in the way of dessert, but the gingerbread and giant pretzels were to die for!!!
This cinnamon sugar covered beast was filled with an incredible chocolate hazelnut filling that practically had me drooling from the moment I picked it up; it really was love at first sight.
Apart from the food and beer, competitions were held, games were played and there were plenty of sing-alongs (especially later in the day when any feelings of embarrassment had long since drowned in copious amounts of booze).
My friends enjoyed themselves so much they were stacking empty cider cans like they were the Leaning Tower of Pisa and joining in on other people’s sing-alongs.
But would it really be Oktoberfest if you retained even a tiny bit of restraint?
Hence why selfies started to get stupid!
But alas, the end of the day eventually drew near, and we had to depart for the day. But, that didn’t mean the day ended there. In fact, it continued on with more food and booze, and a random horse and carriage in Chinatown – say whhaaaa’?
Even though I’m sure there are a lot of people nursing a nasty hangover today, I’m sure there are also a lot of people, like myself, who are also super keen to make it to Munich to see just how crazy the real Oktoberfest gets!