Oktoberfest and Oompah – That’s How It Goes!

It’s that time of the year again when Leeds is taken over by our Teutonic cousins – and the event has surpassed last year’s already.

The German Christmas Market will shortly be popping up in Millennium Square, but first on the list is Oktoberfest running from 11th to 13th October (fancy that!) at the South Bank Depot on Globe Road. Ironically the original Oktoberfest in Munich begins in September.

I went to the corresponding event last year and am pleased to report that the 2018 Oktoberfest is just as good, if not better. One area of improvement is that the floor has been given a good wash and so my advice not to put on your best Jimmy Choos is rescinded, so glam those feet up.  Steins, Bavarian hats and Bratwurst were in proliferation, as was singing and dancing to the obligatory Oompah Band.

All photographs by Stan Graham

Speaking of the food and drink, the service was very slick last night, with no queues worth a mention at either the bar or the food stall outside.  I was fortunate to be in the VIP section so had waitress service which was very professional, but with a bit of banter in keeping with the fun and frolics. The food was really very good, with a selection of sausage-based dishes and a vegetarian option to boot.

The band played a catalogue of German drinking songs and pop tunes so that the dance floor was rarely empty. It is funny how a couple of steins of beer can relieve you of inhibitions, so halfway through the evening we were waving our drinks in the air and obeying the band leader’s instructions to sway left, right, stand up and sit down as though we were Pavlov’s dogs. This is not the event for a romantic evening a deux but a great way to let off steam and de-stress without embarrassing yourself (too much).

Oktoberfest looks as though it has now established itself as a permanent fixture on the Leeds social calendar. Let’s hope so, and I’m sure that I’ll be back again next year providing that the hangover has cleared up by then.

Oktoberfest continues on Friday 12th from 16.00 to 23.00, then on Saturday 13th from  12.00 to 17.00 and from 18.00 to 23.00.

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