Columbus Oktoberfest

72.) Columbus Oktoberfest – September 24, 2010

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In 2009, after considering their upcoming 44th Columbus Oktoberfest, the German Village Society realized that, due to area development, they could no longer hold their festival in its current German Village location. They also didn’t see how they would be able to make any profit in a new location…so they voted to cancel the event.

But, with only 11 weeks before the scheduled event, the Cox family, the Ohio Expo and the Schmidt family stepped up and made an Oktoberfest celebration possible. And a lot of this, I feel, was through Schmidt advertising at festivals like…

Bucyrus, Cleveland

…and even Marion.

This year, not only had I seen them at those festivals – I had seen them at the Troy Strawberry Festival, the Columbus Arts Fest, and Com Fest. I was starting to see them so often that I started to worry when I didn’t see them at some festival. So, when it came down to going to the Columbus Oktoberfest…

…it felt like the right thing to do.

Taking place at the Ohio Expo, admission was free, although there was an $8 parking fee. So I paid, parked and walked on the grounds, immediately noticing three long buildings…

…like this one.

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The middle building was where all the gift vendors were assembled, selling…

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…chicken hats and mice…
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…shields, bows and German candy.
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But in the Biergarten and Bier halle…

…the real magic happened.

After the hassle of the dreaded food and drink tickets…
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…festival goers found great grub, including…

…schnitzel, Brezel Pretzels, Juergen’s baked goods…

…and all your Schmidt goodies, including brats and…

…cream puffs.

There was even a new German-esque food…

…which I saw at this booth.

Behold the Reuben on a stick…
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…with corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut all fried up to heart-pounding perfection.

And, of course…

…there were spirits galore.

But that didn’t mean it was strictly an adult event.

One nice thing about the Columbus Oktoberfest was that it separated the children’s section into a quieter environment…


…where kids could jump…

…peddle…

…and sit back and relax.

Meanwhile, the adults could…

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…dance…
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…listen to musical entertainment…
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…and sing the German national anthem.

Lucky for me, I was able to show up just in time for some of the opening festival ceremonies…
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…where the Schmidt family and others were thanked for their generosity and support to keep the festival alive after its near end last year.

But even in their endless thanks, applause and smiles during the ceremonies, the saving grace of the Schmidt family was best summed-up here in this shirt sold by the German Village Society.
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It’s time to polka indeed.
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