Wild West Oktoberfest hosts the women's steinholding competition during the Sept. 23 event.
Wild West Oktoberfest hosts the women's steinholding competition during the Sept. 23 event. Golden Civic Foundation hoped to raise at least $250,000 toward local nonprofits. Credit: Corinne Westeman

Once September rolls around, it’s time to start thinking about a little Gemütlichkeit. That’s a German word that means a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Which, of course, also means that it’s Oktoberfest season once again.

Ah, yes. That traditional fall celebration was something that happened in October that somehow moved to September around here. I guess with so many of them happening in the area, there’s kind of a scramble to beat the weather so they all seem to happen a month early.

Now, in days gone by, there used to be a really big one right here in Golden, but that disappeared several years ago. But, thanks to our Golden Civics Foundation, it looks like it’s making a comeback. But this time around, it’s going to have a bit more of a Golden twist to it.

On Saturday, Sept. 23 from noon to 10 p.m. is Wild West Oktoberfest, an event that will highlight Golden’s unique history and culture, as well as celebrate the Golden community featuring Western and German activities including live music, fun contests, great food, and of course, great beer. It’s in Golden, there’s always going to be beer. The festivities will include both adult and family-friendly activities, and to make things even cooler, all proceeds will benefit the Golden Civic Foundation and their work for the entire Golden community. It’s all happening at the Clear Creek Parking Lot at 304 10th Street in Golden.

Now, this is actually a two-day event with a more formal banquet on Friday night, but that had a very limited capacity and is already sold out. Saturday is the bigger, all-day event and tickets are still available.

There’s a pretty elaborate schedule of events including live music from The Austrian Connection, Yampa Valley Steve and Camillo & The Prime Time. In addition to that, there will be performances by the Denver Kickers Schuhplattlers Polka Dancers, who will also be teaching you how to do the Chicken Dance several times throughout the event. Plus you can enter several contests including Strong Stein Holding, for both men and women, a Wild West Moustache Contest , the YoColorado Yodeling Contest, Best Costume for men, women and couples and the Best Chicken Dancer.  

If that’s not enough, well then throw in free rides on a mechanical bull plus folks from the Golden History and Buffalo Bill Museums on site to share some information about our rich German and Western history along with performers from the Colorado Cowboy Gathering there to demonstrate traditional lariat looping and other activities.

There’s a few more things there to discover as well, including a miniature horse named Pickles in her own petting corral.

If you have ever been to an Oktoberfest, you know there are going to be plenty of Prost Toasts going on and those are usually accompanied by a song called Ein Prosit. Trust me, you are going to want to sing along. So, here’s the lyrics: “Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit…Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit.” After the band plays this song, everyone raises their glasses and says: “Oans, zwoa, drei, G’suffa!” meaning “one, two, three, drink!”

You don’t speak German? No problem. It’s pronounced “Ayn Prawseet, Dare Gae-meet-lich-kite.” Then it’s Ayns, svie, drie, zoo-fa. Go ahead, practice it once. OK, that’s close enough. It gets better the more beer you drink.

There is a full schedule of the day’s activities and entertainment on their website at www.wildwestoktoberfest.com.

They also have a full list of sponsors and food vendors on there to check out. You can also order tickets there in advance if you so desire.

I guess for this one you are going to want to break out your lederhosen and dirndl dresses as well as a cowboy hat and boots. It’s one of our Golden unique events, that’s for sure. But, when you think about it, Adolph Coors came from Germany, so it all kind of makes a lot of sense. I bet you knew that, but did you know that his name was originally spelled “Kuhrs?” See, I’m educational as well as entertaining. Prost!

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 multimedia production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com.

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