Ah, the smell of fall is in the air. OK, this year it includes the odor of smoke in from forest fires and the one from when your furnace turns on for the first time in months, but it’s still my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the colors and the whole vibe that goes with it. Maybe it’s because I was born in October that I have such an affinity for the season, but whatever the reason, I always look forward to those leaves dropping from the trees.

Last week I mentioned that most of the traditional Oktoberfest events had been canceled and gave you some instructions on how to have your own celebration at home. For once, I actually took my own advice and cooked up a German feast at home and was all set for some gemütlichkeit. Then my wife walked into the kitchen and I remembered that she can’t stand sauerkraut and German potato salad. But, some quick thinking and a pot of macaroni and cheese added to the menu made her happy and everything was wunderbar. Yeah, I speak about ten words of German.

But this week, I actually found a real Oktoberfest celebration going on right here in downtown Golden this coming weekend. It’s the Golden Hayride Oktoberfest that will be happening in Miners Alley, behind the Old Capitol Grill and also includes Miners Saloon and The Brick Room.

It’s going to be on Oct. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is partially outdoors for health reasons. They will have a stage set up in the alley and that’s where a lot of the things will take place.

So, here’s the scoop. It’s a family friendly event with German food and drinks, including beer. They are going to have music, entertainment and games with prizes throughout the day. Tickets cost $18 and include 2 beers or sodas, an edible pretzel necklace, an Oktoberfest bandana that can also be used as a face mask and an Oktoberfest button. Additional food and drinks will be available for purchase right there in the alley.

Some of the highlights will be a best costume contest, a stein hoisting contest, and my favorite, the socially distanced chicken dance contest. On a bit of a side note here, last winter a friend of mine sent me a little video clip from a German themed Christmas event last year. As I was looking at it my wife asked me what it was. I showed it to her and said “Nothing, just some old guy dancing the chicken dance.” She took a look at it and said, “Baby, that’s you doing the chicken dance.” Yup, it was me. The video was a little grainy and sometime I forget I have gray hair now. The same thing happens when I see myself on surveillance cameras in convenience stores. I turn around to see who the old guy standing there is and discover it’s just me.

Meanwhile, back to the Oktoberfest. Rest assured that all of the City’s COVID health restrictions will be in place and enforced. That means you have to wear a mask when you aren’t eating or drinking, so no arguments about that, OK? It’s a city ordinance and the bartenders aren’t there to debate the issue and give you an excuse to wind up on the evening news for fighting about it. You know what I’m talking about.

For more information and to order tickets go to www.eventbrite.com/e/golden-hayride-oktoberfest-tickets-120474353033. The number of tickets is limited, due to social distancing restrictions, so you might want to get them in advance if possible.

So, now you have a great place to wear your lederhosen or whatever and kick up your heels a bit. This looks like a really fun event and it’s new this year so check it out.

Now, next week we’re going to start exploring some of your options for what to do on Halloween this year. That’s my wife’s favorite holiday and she’s got some interesting ideas cooking up for me to pass on to you this year so stay tuned. Of course, my usual standby is still in effect. Just buy your favorite candy and eat it all yourself. Saves a lot of worry about where it came from and eliminates a bag full of stuff you can’t stand. It also keeps your feet dry if it snows on Halloween. I’m 60 years old. I have a different perspective now.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com