Vancouver, October 21, 2022 – Friday night at 6 pm on the dot, the doors opened to the second last Oktoberfest celebration in the current Vancouver Alpen Club Building. It was a bittersweet feeling seeing the familiar restaurant tables, chairs and dividers of the former Deutsches Haus Retaurant gone, although they were replaced with tables and benches that were more suited to an Oktoberfest. It was the same, yet so different, especially knowing that the new restaurant is not scheduled for completion until 2025.
The kitchen was closed, but the bar was open. Food was provided by a food truck outside, but the beer was plenty and stocked for two days of heavy celebrations. The staff were all dressed in typical Bavarian Dirndl or Lederhosen and were kept busy replenishing drinks all night long. We started our evening with a delicious Schnitzel, knowing this might be the last time we would be indulging in this in Vancouver City for at least 2-3 years.
We were seated at Table #8, which had perfect accessibility to the bar and to the dance floor in the Jägerstube.
The band was called “Hans and Franz” and had 3 people playing. Drums, accordian and guitars, as well as the occasionally trumpets, saxophone and alpen horn. Every so often, they would play the most famous “Ein Prosit, ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit X2 and then yelled OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G’SUFFA! Followed by “Zicke zacke zicke zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi! Zicke (zicke) Zacke (zacke) Zicke zacke, zicke zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi.
The organizers of the Oktoberfest ’22 were Lorenzo and Alena. President of the Board also showed up and had dinner with Andy Köchl from the Austria Vancouver Club in Richmond, BC.
Some people brought their best to the event, decked out in Lederhosen (leather pants) and dirndl (traditional German/Austrian dresses). We also were fortunate to see the Alpenplattlers (middle photo) perform for us.
The first game was the beer holding contest. Pick a full mug of beer (in this case water) and see who can hold it horizontally with a straight arm as long as possible. LOL. This skill might come in handy when you are trying to make it through all the “Zicke zacke” songs.
Then five men were chosen to learn the Schuhplattler moves on the spot, while five ladies participated in the twirling contest. You might be happy to know that I won second place in the twirling. It was all in good fun.
The Alpenplattlers performed a few hits. In one of them, two men “fought” over a dirndl clad lady and while they were busy fighting a third one took her to the dance floor.
Over the centuries, the form gradually evolved as farmers, hunters, and woodsmen practiced it in the isolated towns and villages of the Bavarian and Tyrolean Alps. Sometimes it was performed as a partner dance, with couples doing a Ländler and then splitting up so the girls could twirl in their colourful dirndls as the boys showed off their platteln. At other times it was just the boys onstage, arranged in a circle, a square or a line, plattling wildly for the audience.
Early Schuhplattlers often highlighted the towns where they were invented or imitated the various professions of the performers, such as the Mühlradl (miller’s dance), the Holzhacker (wood cutter), and the Glockenplattler (bell dance). The music was generally in three-quarter time, like the Ländler, and was performed on the zither or the guitar, and by 1830s, the accordion or concertina.
Here are the last few glimpses. A good time was had by all. Let me know if you were there and if so, how did you enjoy it?
If you could please help support the Vancouver Alpen Club Society during the redevelopment, all donations and or sponsorships would be greatly appreciated, if interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We want to bring Oktoberfest back to life in 2025 in a fantastic venue that is supported by the local German Community in British Columbia.
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