Beer, Polka, And Pumpkins


I have to admit that October is my favorite month of the year and there are a few reasons for that. One is the fact that I love the Halloween season. That’s a given if you have read my previous posts. The other reason is flippin’ Oktoberfest! It’s a German celebration and a great reason to eat bratwurst, drink beer and dance to the accordion polka rhythm. I love every bit of it and in Helen, Georgia we hit the German fest with both fists. It was wunderbar!

Up in the North Georgia mountains, Helen is a really cute town that hosts this drunkfest. If you start the beer drinking at 4pm then by 10 you may actually believe you are in Germany. The only thing to ground you back to the reality that you are in North Georgia are the numerous T-shirt/novelty shops every 30 feet. You know, T-shirts with the muscle guy with a dalmatian head flexing in a fire fighter outfit or “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor ” shirt? Anyway, it was like a redneck Germany.

Oh yeah, you can buy a shit load of swords, lighters, old time personal photos, smashed and imprinted pennies, leather hats and whoopie cushions too. I have only been to Germany twice and it is true that whoopie cushions are a hard item to find. So you have that to keep you grounded as well.

Crap, I almost forgot! If you every need skulls and skeletons posed playing golf, working or Elvis impersonating you can get them in Helen. In hind sight I should have bought some as stocking stuffers just to keep the family guessing my sanity.

The elderly out numbered the younger generations by about 200 to 1. There were numerous tour buses and crown vics from all over the country, mainly from Pennsylvania, Illinois and Arizona for some reason. As you can see from the guy in white Stride-Rites and a proud Members Only jacket we kind of stood out. But never the less we had all come to Helen for the same reason and that is Oktoberfest. Even if I was there for the perfect beer and they were there for, I don’t know, the perfect frozen yogurt?

So after a few hours of shopping and old people watching we checked into the hotel. It’s nice to find a Hampton Inn where Deliverance was filmed. That movie is always in mind when I am in the North Georgia mountains because inbreds and banjos freak me out to no extent. Anyway the hotel was great and the people were so nice it was almost sickening. I’m sure if I requested to trade shoes with them they would do so and include their socks as well.

So after some rest and changed into my KISS ’75 Tour shirt we headed out for a night that I was made for; drinking, eating and being merry. Believe it or not Helen was pretty much a ghost town and the check in desk vaguely mentioned the festivities start at 7pm. So we made are way to the center of town to see where Oktoberfest began and all we could see was a line of old people going into a large covered pavilion. That was it and I a little worried I was going to be let down. But it was cool because a few beers can even make church enjoyable.

I write about our Oktoberfest fun tomorrow when I get the pictures back. So for now I will leave you with the first beer of the night. It’s my motto that all guests should have a beer or cocktail so there you are. Enjoy the brew and stop by tomorrow afternoon to read about Polka and the quest for the ultimate pumpkin from the scary, God fearing mountain patch of Dawsonville, GA.

6 Comments

  1. We have been wanting to find a decent place to enjoy a little Oktoberfest but that time might of gone and passed. There is a small amusement park in Portland Oregon called Oaks park that has Oktoberfest and that is the most enjoyable (I have only gone to two of them and the second one was really bad, there were just a bunch of booths to buy non german type of products and a brautwurst/saurkraut stand and a beer stand) I was just about 10 and 14 at the time but we danced the chicken dance and all sorts of madness. I want to do the chicken dance while I don’t care what strangers think! I want to live again!

    Random facts about me Bill, I also have gone to Germany once when I was about 8 (totally couldn’t appreciate it totally wanna go back and throughly appreciate it) for 6 weeks my Grandparents took me and my two sisters for a European vacation. Mostly Denmark because we are from there (we went to Legoland, yup) but we saw Spain (right before the Olympics) and in Germany we got chips (and pictures of my Granddad chiseling them away) of the Berlin wall. I have home video of all of this and I would love to get one of those pinnacle studio things to put them on this computer (you and fellow X-E’ers would not mind watching a younger version of me open Christmas presents, I can garunteee you that!)

    Also I took German for a year and a half in High school so I know a bit about the German culture that is interesting (at least to me, and everyone else that took the class) See you later Bill I’m looking forward to act 2.

  2. There’s a town eerily similar to this in Washington. I was there during the World Accordion Festival. Even the McDonalds is done up in Bavarian decor.
    I am going to go ahead and assume that the first beer of the night was not a Miller Lite, just served in that cup, right? I mean, How German is Miller?
    I wish there were the kudos here cause I would give them for capturing old men’s white sneakers 🙂

  3. Like I said, Kristiane you have a way of always making my day. You are so awesome!

  4. Goob you are awesome too! I love your stories so much.

  5. Your awesome Bill too! The brief times I have talked to you on the phone I could tell in your voice that you don’t judge that easily and you appreciate people of all shapes and kinds. You seem like you really enjoy life too! I want some of the pills you take every morning lol I love you Bill see you later.

  6. I totally thought i had commented, but then I see it was from the 2nd part. Anyway.
    Kristiane: That’s Leavensworth! I love that place. They have the coolest stuff- they have a farking Lawn Gnome Shop! How cool is that!? And a bavarian themed starbucks.
    There’s nothing like having a latte in little bavaria while shopping for family crests.
    *sigh*
    I wanna go back… maybe for christmas this time… “Kelli’s Krampus Nacht”. oh so awesome…


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