Hundreds, if not Thousands of thirsty “German-for-a-day” fun-seekers filled the halls of the 23rd Street Armory over the weekend for the 2nd annual 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest. The team from South Street’s famed bier hall, Brauhaus Schmitz, play hosts to their sold-out event.
The weekend’s fest included four sessions, each able to accommodate around 1,500 people, who dined on traditional Oktoberfest food from Chef Jeremy Nolen, homemade Bavarian pretzels from Chef Jessica Nolen and Hofbräuhaus beer imported from Germany. Live music was provided by the Heimatklange Band and the Alex Meixner band.
The Armory Oktoberfest initiative began last year after seven years of throwing an Oktoberfest block party on South Street. The Growing attendance and popularity of the event called for the need to expand to a larger venue. The Brauhaus team did an amazing job transforming the Armory into a replication of an authentic Munich festival tent, complete with picnic style tables and benches imported from Germany, and an elevated stage for musical acts, all royal blue and white, of course.
For the price of admission, party-goers were treated to their first stein of beer, a large pretzel, and tons of fun. Additional food and drink was available for purchase, including a delicious pork, kraut, and potato salad platter which I happily sampled. Additional options were available for VIP’s who upgraded to reserved seating, and received additional beer servings, cheese plates, and whole roasted chickens, brats, and sides for the table.
Men and women of varying ages and types, proudly donned their lederhosen and dirndls, while dancing on table tops, and throwing back liter after liter of Oktoberfest Lager.
While slightly overpriced, it was apparent all were having a good time. If you go next year, go with a group, and splurge for the VIP experience where you get more bang for your buck. Prost!
Review by Melody Dougherty