Founded by German immigrants in the late 1880’s, Muenster’s unique culture and community festivals make it the perfect spot for a low key Texas getaway. Oenophiles will love the city’s proximity to Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard, Arche’ Winery & Vineyards, and 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery. Travelers looking for a unique experience should check out the downtown area’s boutique shops, cozy restaurants, and museums.
The Muenster Oktoberfest has been one of the top Oktoberfest events in Texas since it began five years ago, and will take place October 28-29 at the Heritage Park Pavilion. Attendees will encounter a Texas-style Oktoberfest complete with German and Texan foods, music, entertainment, games, and more. From knockwurst to fried potato dumplings, attendees can choose from a variety of German foods. Beer is a significant part of most Oktoberfests and this year’s event features a spectrum of German and Texas beers. An arts and crafts area will include a great selection of regional artists and crafters selling everything from paintings to artisanal foods. The live music, dancing, and entertainment will run throughout the event including a performance by headliner Tanner Fenoglio. Patrons looking for a little challenge will love the selection of competitions including stein hoisting, First 0.5K Beer Run, and even a best dirndl and lederhosen contest. The kid's area is a can't miss spot for families featuring games, rides, and activities for all ages. We interviewed event representative, Lilly Palmer, to learn more about this Bavarian-themed celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
LP: This will be the 5th year of the Muenster Oktoberfest.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
LP: Last year our attendance was over 5,500 guests, doubling our total from the previous year.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
LP: We have something for everyone!
RAL: What makes this event unique?
LP: It’s in Muenster, Texas! We have been putting on can't miss events for more than four decades.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
LP: Festivities kick off with a half marathon sponsored and held by the Sacred Heart Alumni Association. The doors open at 10:00 am with live polka music followed by performances by local tumblers and dancers. Noon brings the official tapping of the keg. Following the tapping, we have the first beer run which is sponsored by the local Jaycees and Keg Bowling with the Calisburg Fire Department. The afternoon is filled with fun competitions including the best-dressed dirndl and lederhosen contest, stein hoisting competition, remote control car racing, Wiener dog races, and more.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
LP: Yes, our headlining performers are Tanner Fenoglio and Brave Combo.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
LP: There will be so many food options that I can't list them all. We have everything German, plus much more.
RAL: What is the atmosphere like?
LP: It’s always festive and fun environment, and the weather is not an issue in our 60,000 sq ft building.
RAL: What will attendees find for local lodging?
LP: Our B&B's are usually booked a year out, but we do have some nearby Airbnb options. Gainesville is not far from the event, and has just about any lodging that you can imagine.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LP: It helps out all our organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts, Jaycees, Catholic Daughters of America, our local Alumni of Sacred Heart School. Plus, our local businesses on Main Street see a massive boost in sales and patronage.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LP: Attendees tend to make our festivals in Muenster a family tradition! We've seen everything from couples proposing to company retreats. Our community is the perfect environment for an all-ages Oktoberfest celebration.
For more information about the Muenster Oktoberfest, please visit the event website.
Photography Credit: Nite-Life Magazine