Oktoberfest doesn’t really need an introduction. The festival is usually held from late in September into October in Germany, and the event is replicated throughout the world (and throughout Canberra).
The Harmonie Club’s event is usually held in late October, and this year it was held so late that it fell in November—from Friday 2 to Sunday 4. We headed along on Friday afternoon, where the event opened its door at Exhibition Park in Canberra in the Budawang building at 5pm. Entry costs differed each day, with $15 for Friday, $20 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday.
On payment, we were each handed a very basic ticket stub which we then handed to the security guards, who ripped it in half and told us to hold onto our tiny half so we’d be able to come back into the venue if we needed to leave for some reason.
The most popular area seemed to be the Lowenbrau bars which topped and tailed the vast hall. It wass $15 for a plastic stein (filling it up is included in the cost) and $9 thereafter for a top up. Every year we tell ourselves that we’ll bring last year’s steins to save the $6 and forget. Usually it’s not a problem because the little pictures on the steins change each year, and it’s cute to have a new one, but not this time. Schooners were $6 per plastic cup.
The non-Lowenbrau (and particularly the non-beer) options were a little lacking (maybe the latter was to be expected). There was a reasonably priced tent with a range of different beers, including Schofferhoffer, but the only non-beer tent was Jagermeister, which had just a few wine options.
Every year the music always starts off very loud when the hall is empty, but as people came in it was buffered somewhat. There was plenty of chicken dancing! As is usual at these types of events, time also passed very quickly. For eating options, we were first offered large pretzels from a basket as people wandered from table to table at a cost of $3. For something more substantial, all our eyes turned to the pork knuckle ($20), but memories of years past of a very chewy, rubbery crackling rather than a crispy one kept us away. Instead, T1 had a kransky with plenty of sauerkraut (and no onions) and mustard and sauce. T2 got a delectable pork knuckle roll topped off with a large dollop of apple sauce from a ‘tent’ in the shape of a castle!
For those with a sweet tooth, the ever-popular dutch poffertjes were available, as was a large amount of lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Oktoberfest is always an enjoyable time, but we’d probably recommend a little budgeting. Perhaps the best part of the night was that the true believers who stayed until the hall was almost empty again were offered left over sausage (kransky, bockworst and bratwurst) for free just before midnight.
Date: Friday 2 November 2012
Attendees: T1 and T2 + friends
Cost: Dependent on your time available, stamina and thirst!
Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile
- Oktoberfest Beer (trolldens.blogspot.com)
- Oktoberfest is upon us once again, let the cleavage flow like beer (45 Photos) (thechive.com)
- celebrate fall… with oktoberfest! (bambeco.com)
- Oktoberfest 2012 kicks off in Munich (with photos) (vancouversun.com)