A few years ago, we attended the Saengerbund German Oktoberfest in Newington, Connecticut and it’s back again this year so we’re all excited to attend again. When we went the first time it was the first time we had ever heard about this Oktoberfest and we felt very Willkommen (Welcome).
The Saengerbund German Oktoberfest Details
Website: www.hartfordsaengerbund.org (click on the Oktoberfest)
Location: 719 North Mountain Road, Newington, Connecticut
Date/Time: Saturday, September 26; 3pm until whenever
Live Entertainment: Joe Rodgers Franken-Musikanten
Admission: $5.00 Children 12 and under Free
We were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. At the front gate we met these two lovely German people who were manning the booth. They set the German atmosphere right away.
A few German vendors were setup right out of the ticket booth. This booth was selling German Nativity Pyramids, nutcrackers, and German Incense Smoker. The Nativity Pyramids were so intricate. They are usually hand-painted 3 Level Christmas Nativity Pyramid with 2 moving levels, with either angels or a wheel or fan on top.
The lady behind the table showed me how the Incense Smokers work. Lift off the head and place a cone incense in the base and replace the head. The smoke comes out of their mouth making it look like they are smoking.
Across the way another booth was selling flower rings for the lady’s hair.
German food was offered in smaller tents outside of the main entertainment tent. There was also a beer tent. Young ladies selling pretzels were walking around as well as these fair maidens who were selling Jagermeister, a German 70-proof alcohol made with 56 herbs and spices shots!
Greg opted for Schnitzel, sausage, sauerkraut, and potato salad while I got the potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce. I have to say that I don’t like apple sauce top of my potato pancakes but the sour cream was good.
Both of us tried German beer, specifically Spaten Lager and the Hofbrau Lager. I really liked the lighter Spatrn more than the Hofbrau. After a few of these German beers everyone was having way too much fun and you really didn’t care anyhow.
Since 1984, Bierfests feature bands from Germany and have been a significant Hartford German club activity. The German band that was playing during this festival was The Hornbergmusikanten. Most of the time you didn’t know what they were saying or singing but it didn’t matter because the atmosphere was so festive and lively. We are not German but we felt so welcomed and right at home.
We spent most of our time in the entertainment tent. We didn’t know what to expect so it was pure fun when the announcer had everyone in the tent stand up and sing the German beer anthem – multiple times! If you didn’t sing it loud enough and with umph they made you sing it again. At the end of the anthem he told you to stick around for “50% more fun”. The singing sure made the atmosphere lively and entertaining.
We stayed around to watch the Schuhplattler dancers from the dance troupe Alpenland Tanzer. There were small boys and girls and grown men and women dancing together. It was neat to see the different generations enteracting with other so nicely. After one dance the announcer asked the audience to toss coins out in appreciation of the dancers, which a lot did. The children enjoyed themselves very much grabbing up all of the change that was thrown on the ground.
The best part in the entertainment portion had to be watching the German band conductor basically guzzle 64 ounces of German beer in about 1 minute and everyone cheering him on.
When we were almost ready to go we stopped by the German Meeting house for some coffee and German desserts. It is setup with a dance floor in the center. The Saengerbund German Bierfest was exciting and entertaining, the food and beer were great, and we would definitely go again. To get involved with the Hartford/Newington German club, find out when the dancers will be performing, or info on their next event, visit their website.