Saturday, October 4, 2008
Barksdale Air Force Base put on an Oktoberfest celebration this evening and I can promise you that it is a brand new tradition in the Shreveport-Bossier area! What a hit it was and what a fabulous time the folks had! I am full of exclamation points and "ohmigods" so I'll try to rein myself in and just tell you that we had a great time and how the Base did a GREAT job putting together a brand new Oktoberfest celebration.
We arrived around 5:45 (it started at 5:30) and the beer lines were already WAY long. A good crowd was already in place. Steve and I got in the (very long) beer line but before long a Jessica Simpson look-alike waitress/frauline person came, took our tickets and brought us beer, thus saving us from the long line. There was a German Oompah band playing and if I had to compare them to anybody it would hands down be the Bare Naked Ladies; from their playing style to their crowd-shout-outs. They played plenty of German beer drinking music and toasts as well as lots of contemporary stuff (and I mean contemporary by MY day - not now.)
We had dinner (brats. saurkraut, potato salad, etc.) and more beer. They had a GREAT Samuel Adams Oktoberfest on draft. Awesome. At one point I had a mug in one hand a "half-yard" in the other. (After you stand in the beer line for 45 minutes you learn to plan ahead.)
At any rate, BAFB did it right. The DJ was great, the band was great the atmosphere and decorations were great. There was a brat eating contest, beer stein races, a costume contest, a German Shoe Dance contest, a yodeling contest, a beer drinking contest (which I would have entered had I not had a head start) and lots of good fun.
What I loved most about it, probably, was the poignant moment of the evening when the toast was raised for the Raider crew that was lost this summer over Guam-- the crew that won't be coming back. I love the heart of the military and the soul of those that serve. Some folks left their dinner this evening to go to the tarmac to welcome back a crew that was coming in from Anderson AFB. It was very moving when they were mentioned tonight.
I walked up to take a picture of the band and of course they stopped playing and the lead guy goes, "Picture!!!" and they posed -- . And then at the end of the night the DJ came back on while the Oomaph band packed up; he started with Maragritaville and then Living on a Prayer and ended up with Thriller and we were all doing the Zombie dance. Even the fraulines in their german waitress costumes. Oh it was fun! We had a blast and can't wait until next year!!