Fourth Annual Oktoberfest — Sat-Sun, Oct. 5-6
Flora-Bama, 17401 Perdido Key Drive
Break out your dirndls and lederhosen and head to the Flora-Bama, because it's time to welcome the fall at the fourth annual Perdido Key Oktoberfest! The event — from 2-10 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 6 — will feature authentic German food and beer, live music, Bavarian feats of strength and more. Admission is free and open to all ages during the day. There will even be a root beer garden for the kids! After 6pm regular cover charges will apply: $5 for those 21 and older, $15 for those 18 to 20. Festivalgoers who arrive in costume will be rewarded with door prizes.
Polka: A taste of the old, a taste of the new
Nothing says Oktoberfest quite like the bright, pulsating rhythms of Polka. Two bands with decidedly different approaches to the genre will take the stage at Oktoberfest. Traditional Polka practitioners the Oom-pah-sters — from Lebanon, Tenn. — will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Despite their name, the Oom-Pah-Sters are far from inauthentic. The band has entertained audiences from coast to coast with their traditional German stage outfits, comedic antics and danceable renditions of Polka classics.
The Oom-Pah-Sters will be followed on stage at 5:30 both days by New Orleans “progressive Polka” heroes The Brats, whose approach to the genre is decidedly less conservative.
“The Recording Academy eliminated Polka as a genre in 2009,” the band writes on their Facebook page. The Brats were founded the very next year, they say, “to maintain Polka integrity.”
While they do play traditional Polka tunes, however, the Brats are better known for their Polka-inspired covers of such decidedly non-Polka numbers as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
This — and their high-energy stage presence — have earned them the distinction of performing each year as the headlining act at the Oktoberfest celebration at New Orleans Deutshes Haus.
Let the competition begin!
Masskrugstemen, more commonly known as "stein holding" in the non-German-speaking world, is a traditional Bavarian contest of strengths, in which participants hold a 1-liter stein of beer in front of them at shoulder level for as long as they are able. The last man, or woman, to reach muscle failure and spill their beverage is crowned the winner.
Though the world record for Masskrugstemen is a matter of some speculation, legend puts the time at more than 20 minutes. If that sounds daunting, don't worry — Most participants last less than five. Take a swing (or, rather, a swig) at your own record at this year's Oktoberfest.