If there’s a thing to know about me it’s this: I’m kind of a dork. I like lots of things that are super not cool, not even in that hip geek girl kinda way. More like in the childless women who has to consciously resist getting really into building dollhouses, kind of way. Now that I am officially an adult and tax paying citizen(TM), I no longer have any fucks to give. As such, I am bringing back Nerd Reviews, in which I review something weird I did and I don’t care who knows it.
I’ve always had a dream that one day I’d be able to make it to Oktoberfest, the real one, in Germany. I’d like nothing better than to spend a few drunken nights in Munich, sitting at one of those long wooden tables, eating a giant pretzel and dressed in costume. In truth, this is not too different from what I normally do, but it A) means I’m taking a vacation in Europe, B) means I have enough money to take a vacation in Europe and C) means I have enough vacation.
Both sides of my family are SUPER German, like off the boat German, so I’ve been to several Oktoberfest as a kid, which for the large part, I was bored off my ass. This was mostly because the event was filled with polka music and old people in weird clothing and I was too young to drink. Now that I’m an adult with a valid drivers license, the polka and weird clothing make perfect sense ESPECIALLY when you can drink.
I’ve been looking for a good Oktoberfest in the Boston area for awhile, and for the most part I’ve been unsuccessful. Harpoon Oktoberfest was fun but super crowded, had not-so-great food and seemed barely German at all. There is also the Oktoberfest 5k in Cambridge, which, come on. How is that even a thing? A 5k? That is spitting in the face Oktoberfest patrons everywhere, good sirs.
After a random Google search last week, I finally found it. The Boylston Schul-Verin (BSV) Oktoberfest in Walpole, MA. Yes, it’s a bit of a drive, but if you are interested in a more authentic Oktoberfest experience than say, a bunch of sweaty Camberville hippies drinking their way into dehydration after a long run dressed in fake lederhosen, then the BSV Oktoberfest is definitely for you.
The Oktoberfest is held at the BSV clubhouse over a weekend every September.
‘Why is Oktoberfest always in September?’ You ask.
I have no idea, it just is.
The event space is great. It’s set back in a wooded area and takes place outside of the main clubhouse. There’s a large open-air beer hall, a spot for music and dancing, and a lot of little tents for food, booze, and German crafts and souvenirs. There’s also pony rides for the kiddies, because there is nothing better than getting drunk with children around. They also had a the Viking Irish do some fancy sword fighting demonstrations, because this is Boston, and the Irish always know how to have a good time.
Since this festival was a much more authentic Oktoberfest, (people were legitimately wearing lederhosen and dirndls- and not the Halloween costume kind, the national costume kind,) I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be too lively and full of a bunch of older people. I was pleasantly mistaken.
Even though we went on a Sunday afternoon, there was a great mix of people, a bunch random punk kids and most importantly, a lot of people around my own age. I’d love to go on the Saturday night, to see the party really going but Sunday afternoon was still packed, drunk and lots of fun. It was actually kind of a fun (and sexy?!) surprise to see a bunch of young dudes and ladies dressed up in German costume instead of the usual stooped over 85 year old man in lederhosen that I’d grown accustomed to. (But props to those guys too.)
The food was pretty good and was much more diverse than the usual ‘I dunno whatever, here’s some kinda sausage,’ that they have at the more Americanized festivals. While they didn’t have everything I wanted, they did have leberkas, potato pancakes, poppy seed rolls and plum tarts in addition to the usual pretzels, sauerkraut and sausages. Of course there are going to be sausages. THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE SAUSAGES.
In the dance/beerhall area there was a great live band and even mid-day, a lot of people dancing. At one point there was a giant conga like that snaked around the entire festival, which got pretty crazy. They also played the chicken dance at one point, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
Would I go again? Absolutely, especially if I got to check out the Saturday night festivities! Plus, now I have an excuse to buy a sweet new costume dress and maybe, if I’m feeling brave, some leather shorts.