Tempe's Way Out West Oktoberfest...quite an experience...
Now that the kids are grown and gone we have more time on our hands to go out and explore the town and experience some of the local events. That was our plan last night. Jay was hungry for some brats, so he & Sharon asked us if we wanted to go to the Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake. None of us had been there before, so we were up for the adventure.
Instead of listing a long narrative about the night, I thought I'd just do a quick recap of some of the highs and lows.
Pluses (scale of 1-5) :
+++++ PHOTO OPS - I got a great shot of the Tempe bridge and a few other fun shots.
+++++ WEATHER - It was a perfectly gorgeous fall evening with a full moon and all.
++++ LEDERHOSEN - Check out the great lederhosen on the accordian player. People REALLY used to wear these. My old boss, Stefan grew up in Germany and he wore them as a kid, maybe 25 years ago.
++++ GERMANS - I overheard a few folks speaking German. I just wonder what they thought of the event. I was actually in Germany in October once and ended up going to an Oktoberfest with a couple of co-workers (as their designated driver). I must say, it wasn't too much different...pretty much a big drinking party with music and dancing. (Except in Germany they play music from 2 decades ago.)
++++ FOOD & BEVERAGE - Brats "mit Kraut" was very tasty. The Sauerkraut had kind of a sweet taste...interesting and good, Sharon said the raspberry ice tea was good but pricey. Roasted corn on the cob was excellent. Kokopelli Gewurztraminer wine wasn't bad either. We just shared one glass between all of us for a taste. We had the most fun trying to pronounce the name throughout the night.
++++ POLICING - The Tempe police were doing an excellent job! They must have to be so patient with all those rambunctious kids all over the place. I admire their commitment.
+++ MUSIC - polka band at the wine booth-entertaining, Flugelhorn and accordian duet at the entrance - fun! Other bands-didn't really get close enough to notice.
++ PRICING - Good news is that there wasn't a specific admission charge, but they made up for it other places - $6 for a large ice tea is a bit steep even if you do get a refill for $1. I guess it could have been worse. We could have had to pay for admission AND pay the high food prices like you do at the sporting events.
++ BEER GARDEN - Well what can you expect when its within walking distance of one of the largest universities in the country. VERY crowded. Lines VERY long (like 30 minutes or more). There appeared to be a good selection of beers on the menu board, but Jay and Terry weren't interested in waiting in the long lines to try anything. As a mom, I'm actually thankful for the long lines because hopefully it slowed down some of the drinking for those college kids who are so far from home.
++ PARKING - Trolley shuttles were a good idea, but they didn't have enough shuttles running to keep up with the crowds. There was close to a half hour wait to catch the shuttle to get back to our car. Driver was friendly and people were generally courteous.
- DRUNKS - no plusses here...we saw drunks from every age range from college to retirement age and we left by about 9:00 pm! Lowlights were seeing the people who needed help to walk, the guy "losing his lunch" and all that beer on the sidewalk next to the trolley stop...that was lovely. A great welcome for the arriving guests. The young man on the shuttle that was loud and obnoxious and clearly intoxicated boasting about being the designated driver for his group. The young lady who was pulled over by the police one block from the parking lot (probably for drunk driving). I imagine it wasn't a fun night for her, but better than having her on the streets.
Overall impression +++ Average- I probably wouldn't go again. It looked like there were some fun rides and inflatable houses for the kids, but I wouldn't recommend taking them at night. If you just want to party and forget who you are, you'd probably rate it much higher.
Well, this turned out to be longer than I thought...sorry.