I’m the last person you will ever find at Oktoberfest. Just picture a continuum, on the left end there’s Heidi, an up-for-anything blond who rock climbs on the weekends, brings back a shot glass from every country she visits, and can run a marathon in Louboutins. On the right, imagine an agoraphobic nun, allergic to alcohol and incensed by lederhosen. I’m just to the right of the nun.
But if this blog were just focused on my personal interests, I’d only write about Don Draper. And unicorns. This great city has much more to offer (Seriously, Chicago’s paltry unicorn selection is embarrassing.), and starting today, Chicago offers up Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest originated in Munich in 1810 as a celebration of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig (aka King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. I know this because Heidi told me. She’s big into German history. (Actually, Sonja Martinez, Assistant Manager of German American Services, Inc. told me. But I bet she can run in heels.) In its modern incarnation, Oktoberfest boasts carnival rides, music and of course beer, specifically Spaten, the original Oktoberfest beer.
According to Martinez, “An original Oktoberfest can only be put on with the support of an original Oktoberfest beer. We were fortunate enough to get support from Spaten brewery.”
This year, Oktoberfest will be held at Navy Pier, freaking awesome for Heidi (she loves the Ferris wheel), but bad news for the nun (she once tried to see a Chicago Shakespeare Theatre production there but experienced heart palpitations when she saw the line to get into the parking garage).
Attendees will find the experience authentic in a way Martinez says most local festivals are not. “This starts when you walk up to the tent, which is made to look like the authentic tents as can be found in Munich. The beer steins, which were specially made by a German company, are another detail, which makes this event stand out. Also, Germany’s Best & Oktoberfest will not only have the Oktoberfest portion but will also showcase many areas of modern Germany.”
Expect to see venders such as Fehrenbach Black Forest Clocks (Heidi collects them! It’s one of those quirky traits that cements her identity as the GerManic Pixie Dream Girl.), Goethe Institute (Heidi pronounces this 'goathee,' but her skin's like a baby's and she laughs at fart jokes, so who cares?), Front Porch Coffee and Gifts, and many more. When Heidi has kids at a perfect age twenty-seven, she vows she’ll make this event a family tradition; they’ll love watching wheel gymnastics and buying Gingerbread hearts to hang around their necks—just like the kids in Germany do!
So, if you’re fun-loving and know the difference between a Lager and…something that’s not a Lager, check out Oktoberfest. I’ll be watching Madmen with the nun.
Oktoberfest runs through October tenth. Learn more at www.germanys-best-and-oktoberfest.com
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," is forthcoming from Soft Skull, an imprint of Counterpoint Press. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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