Bratwurst sizzles for big crowd at Oktoberfest in downtown
You couldn’t swing a dachshund on Colorado Avenue Saturday without hitting a man in “lederhosen,” the colorful shorts with suspenders that are the traditional peasant-wear of Bavaria.
The fashion at Grand Junction’s 2013 Oktoberfest was as loud as the polka band, Alpine Echo, which had mein Daman und Herren kicking up their heels.
Bratwurst sizzled in the autumn sunshine and dripped down the chins of smiling children like Elija Byson, 5, who spent most of the day downtown with his family.
Equally happy were the parents, many who occasionally paused to wipe the froth of adult beverages from their upper lips.
It was definitely a family affair.
About 2,000 people had joined the party by 4 p.m., said Mathew Schwartz, events supervisor for Lone Star Security and Safety Services, the firm in charge of maintaining order.
“This is a nice crowd. It’s pretty family oriented,” Schwartz said.
According to Jim Witt, former Grand Junction High School German teacher and President of the German-American Club, Oktoberfest is an excellent opportunity to learn about German culture, which, among other things, gave the world bratwurst and Brahms, Porsche and pumpernickel and hefeweizen and Heisenberg (the physicist, not the fictional methamphetamine maker).
For others, the street party was simply a reason to have fun.
Shauna Cozzens, owner of Real Deal on Home Decor, 518 Colorado Ave., said Oktoberfest brought plenty of potential customers through her store, double the traffic of a normal Saturday.
“Lots of new faces and lots of people through the door,” Cozzens said.
Emily Farrington, of Grand Junction, was dragged among the tents and booths by her 10-year-old dachsund, Chopper, who sniffed about for stray sausages and was never offended by the epithet, “wiener dog,” Farrington said.
Linsey Ortiz, 17, and Angela Lind, 16, both of Fruita Monument High School, Megan Host, 18, and Payton Bourdette, 18, both of Grand Junction High School, and Isabella Carter, 17, of Central High School, who all earn college credit in medical preparation classes at Western Colorado Community College, were on hand to provide first aid if needed.
Fortunately, by 4 p.m., only one incident required their attention. An 85-year-old woman on oxygen fell to the ground.
“We just got her up and made sure she was OK and she went on her way,” said Darren Oxford, an emergency medical technician who teaches the girls at WCCC.
Ty Olsen, dressed in green lederhosen and deep frying Twinkies for Premier Concessions, said, “We’ve been slam busy. The people have been great.”
Mawusi Danso, 12, of East Middle School, and her brother, Desmond Danso, 6, of Chipeta Elementary School, said they liked the music, but preferred the funnel cakes.
Sporting a handsome, 7-inch tall Mohican hair cut, Austyn Godat, 18, of Arvada, and his stepsister, Sarah Trimboli, 14, of Grand Junction High School, both metal heads, broke into the chicken dance on cue from Alpine Echo.
“When people get together like this it’s fun,” Godat said. “It’s Oktoberfest.”