Saturday, October 3, 2015

Take a Trip to the Eighth Annual Barksdale Oktoberfest

Barksdale Air Force Base hosted its eighth annual Oktoberfest celebration last night in support of Operation Bright Holiday which is a fundraiser to bring airmen home for Christmas.  The first year they did this, they were able to send seventeen airmen home for the holidays; last year, over ninety servicemen and women were able to spend Christmas with their families because of this event.

It's a very good cause, indeed!

The team at BAFB that stages this event works for months in preparation.  Col. Anderson is a perennial organizer of this event and is always aided by a great crew; this year Lt. Monique Roux headed things up and I know there were many others in assist.  While the event has many of the same favorite contests from year to year, there is always some new twist or event that keeps it fresh every year; the organizers learn from previous years and so each year the event is better and better.

For example, the first year there were not nearly enough beer taps - only five.  The lines were ridiculously long. The next year there were fifteen; a huge improvement.  The first year they ran out of beer within an hour -- the next year there was plenty of beer.  I learned from experience too; bring a giant beer stein from home and you don't have to stand in line nearly as often as everyone else!

We were, as always, the first to arrive; they were still setting up when we got there.

We had plenty of food, fun, beer, and music last night.

Dinner was Jaeger Schnitzel, brats, green beans with onions, cucumber dill salad, chicken, German potatoes, and giant pretzels.  For dessert, German Chocolate cake.

Our fried Jerry came with us this year.

The band loved Jerry and dubbed him "Luigi."  They even played a song for him.

The band was the very talented Alpenmusikanten who has played this event from the first year.  These guys are incredibly talented musicians and are very much in demand during Oktoberfest season.  We are very grateful that they continue to return to BAFB and support this event!

I lifted my camera to take a photo and Wolfgang shouted "Picture!" in the middle of their song and they posed.

They work the crowd and make certain everyone has a good time.

The children dominated the dance floor in the early evening and it was huge fun watching them run in circles and dance.  The band would cue them on occasion: "OK kids, everyone SCREAM!" And they did.  And then the cue: "STOP!" and they did.  Col. Anderson led them in the Chicken Dance.

We took the obligatory Oktoberfest pictures, sort of.

The contests were back. I sat out of the costume contest this year.  I'm glad I did -- a guy with a baby won.  How can you compete against that?!

There was the Shoe Slapping Contest.

There was a yodeling contest too, but I was in a beer line and missed that.

The band encourages a lot of audience participation: this is volunteer Margaret on the washboard.

She did a great job!

The Hand Jive:

There was no Yard Drinking contest this year, which made me sad.

The annual homage to beer:

We were, as always, the very last to leave.

I'm already waiting for next year!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

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