Oaks Park Oktoberfest - fun, sausage, beer, polkas
On the third weekend in September each year – this year, it was October 20-22 – historic and nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood hosts Portland's largest Oktoberfest celebration, drawing a huge crowd for the Bavarian music, drink, and German food for the whole family.
"We've been doing Oktoberfest here since 1991! I've worked it for 24 years, and this is my 15th year of managing our annual celebration," exclaimed Oaks Amusement Park Marketing & Events Manager Emily MacKay.
"Over the years, we've created what guests tell us is the 'right mix' of things they expect to find at a traditional Oktoberfest celebration. Naturally, we're hesitant to make any changes that would disrupt the tradition we've established," MacKay said.
This Southeast Portland Oktoberfest has come to rely on local German families to provide the food, she remarked; and many of these families have passed their tradition of cooking and serving Bavarian-styled foods down from generation to generation.
"The major attraction here is that ours is a truly family-friendly event," MacKay told THE BEE. "While we certainly want folks 'of an age' to enjoy an adult beverage here – again this year, Portland's own Maletis Beverage brought the beer over from Germany for our festival – kids are still welcome in both Festhalles.
"Older kids may prefer to ride our rides and play carnival games, but you'll find the younger kiddos enjoying a meal and dancing with their parents, throughout the festival," observed MacKay.
This year, MacKay said, Oaks Park expected to welcome 25,000 guests over the three-day Oktoberfest weekend.
By the way, coincidentally, Oktoberfest was the last chance to experience one of the attractions in the amusement park. "You're hearing it first: After 15 years, we are replacing our 'Scream'n Eagle' – the single most popular ride in the park," MacKay told us. "Plans are to replace it with an even more 'extreme' version, one that swings all the way over the top!"
Keep up online with what's going on all year at this, the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the entire United States – www.oakspark.com
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