Question 1: Why is Oktoberfest in September? A: According to Mike Turek, Burgomeister of the annual Choctaw Oktoberfest, owner of Old Germany restaurant and bonafide German, it’s because when King Ludwig chose a bride many moons ago, he threw a party that he proclaimed would not end until the last fraulein had fallen.
That took 16 days.
Thus, Oktoberfest begins 16 days before the first Sunday of October.
The Choctaw festival is this weekend to avoid conflicting with the State Fair of Oklahoma.
During Wednesday’s opening night, the ceremonial tapping of the first keg was attended by a long line of folks prepared to sample the celebrations first beer.
This year it was COOP Aleworks’ special Oktoberfest lager.
Turek said he loves the beer and all the good work J.D. Merryweather and friends is doing over at COOP.
“I wanted to honor what those guys are doing,” he said about choosing them for the first keg.
I brought the wife and kiddos out to sample the German fare. Look had a sausage dog and shared a smoked ham hock with me. Kate, ever the finicky eater, opted for a simple burger. Lori, ever the vegetarian, stuck with German potato salad and red cabbage mixed with the horseradish-heavy German mustard.
Success on all counts. That ham hock was picked clean. Daubed in the German mustard with a thin slice of bread it was as good as festival food gets.
The beer was cold and the music oompah-ping. The polkafied cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” was inspired.
The festival continues through Saturday. Hours are noon to midnight. There’s no charge before 5. Afterward is two bucks, half of which is donated to Choctaw Creek Park, 1900 Harper St., the hosting venue.