Jane A. - Georgia, USA

We start with appetizers of homemade soft pretzels with mustard, Lil Smokies (a favorite! I make about 100) meatballs, and cheese/nuts/grapes. Dinner always includes Brats with sauerkraut and all the trimmings. The sides vary from year to year: German potato salad, Nudelauflauf, roasted potatoes & carrots with bacon, gherkins, asparagus, cucumber salad, "krautsalat"/coleslaw. Dessert might be lebkuchenherzen, "German" chocolate cake (not really German but who cares?) Black Forrest cake, or apple cake. I send guests home with a treat bag of chocolate covered pretzels.
We serve a variety of German and domestic beers and wines, Bavarian Blue Jello shooters and of course non-alcoholic choices. With dessert, I serve Riesling and hot apple cider.
We have a humorous, low-brow beer tasting and play a variety of games: hammerschlaggen, beer mug relays, stick pony "horse races," etc. My husband made an "alphorn" out of PVC pipe which he attempts to play for our guests! After dessert, my talented daughter sings for our guests. This year I've made a variety of costumes for race participants to wear that represent characters from German history & literature. We plan to incorporate a brat eating contest this year

This year was our 6th annual Oktoberfest. Each year it grows to include more friends. Last year we had about 45. My husband & I set up big tents and decorate to look like a biergarten. I sew "cheaterhosen" from thrift store corduroy pants for our male guests and share from my personal collection of dirndls. I make all sorts of decorations and signage to set the mood. An outdoor sound system pumps traditional Oompah music around the yard. I hand out homemade CDs of traditional Oktoberfest music as party favors.

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