The Old Curmudgeon: Reason to celebrate

August 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

The Old CurmudgeonBy Vern Holmquist

It must have been in 1998 that I drove a friend to Mount Angel from Albany where Velva and I were living at the time.

We were helping our friend pick up a car which had been repaired in Mount Angel.

It just so happened that Oktoberfest was in full swing when we arrived. Until that day, I had not heard of Mount Angel or Oktoberfest.

I had a little time, so I took in as much of this event as I could. Wow! I was impressed, especially how this small town could produce this great event.

It was amazing. I started thinking if Velva and I lived in Mount Angel, we could cut the distance to visit her daughter in Portland in half and before long, we had an apartment practically in the middle of Oktoberfest, right behind the Weingarten.

I didn’t miss a day of Oktoberfest, enjoying all the sights, sounds and people.

I lost my dear Velva four years ago and moved to Silverton, but I haven’t missed a day taking in all the entertainment of this world class event. You can bet I won’t miss a day of it this year either, especially since we will be celebrating Oktoberfest’s 50th anniversary.

Through the years, I have had the pleasure of knowing the wonderful crew who make this event possible and I salute them. I also have met many of the talented musicians who have traveled long distances to make you want to dance the Polka or flap your wings, shake a little tail in the Chicken Dance, sing rowdy and joyous songs or just get a few hearty laughs.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that a lot of Silverton and Mount Angel residents think this is much ado about nothing. Or how could it be that good if it’s right in our backyard? If you had to drive a couple of hundred miles away, it might be worthwhile, right?

Hey! Take my word for it. Mount Angel’s Oktoberfest is a world-class festival with people from all over the world, close to 400,000 strong, join in the festivities.

I will let you in on a little secret. The city of Silverton runs a trolley service during Oktoberfest so you can be smart and avoid the parking hassle by leaving your car in the big vacant lot just north of Roth’s. (Just don’t tell them who told you.)

The 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest starts on Sept. 17 and goes to Sept. 20. Mark your calendar and join the fun.

Enjoy the celebration. I know I will.

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