The Germans sure do know how to welcome in the seasons, and thanks to World Yacht Cruises, you don’t have to have a drop of German blood to join in on the fun. Twice a year, Germans celebrate the changing seasons with beer, brats, dancing, and more beer. Oktoberfest is the more widely-recognized feier, but its spring cultural counterpart, Maifest, is picking up steam.
Last Saturday, World Yacht hosted its first Maifest on the Hudson celebration, complete with a one-hour cruise up the river. They’ve made a name for themselves with their Oktoberfest extravaganza, transforming Pier 81 into a giant beer garden on the water, and Maifest was no different.
The grills were fired up, causing the smell of sausages and brats to waft through the warm air, while beer was poured into giant glass steins as the German American festival band, Alpine Squeeze, performed on stage. Tip for those who attended – bring your stein if you plan on going back next year or attending Oktoberfest. You can get automatic refills ($12) without having to buy another glass ($20). Needless to say, I was highly jealous of my friend who was smart enough to give to bring his stein from our Oktoberfest debauchery last year.
The truly festive guests donned traditional German outfits, shouting perfectly articulated “Prost!” as they danced (and drank), and Jagermeister promo girls handed out free gear such as t-shirts, hats, coasters, and more. Later in the afternoon, eight beautiful young women appeared on the boat for the Miss German America pageant, whether they were each asked two questions as spectators cheered from the dock. Afterwards, guests were able to cast their vote for their favorite girl.
As party-goers lined up to board the cruise ship for the one-hour tour down the Hudson, the professional dance troupe, Schlierachtler Stamm, took to the dance floor for the traditional Maipole dance, a symbol of spring’s reawakening of fruitfulness. Dancers wove in and out of each other with giant ribbons, creating quite the entertainment while people waited in line.
The boat itself was massive, and, of course, had full taps flowing. Guests could either bask in the sun on one of the main decks or hang out in the air-conditioned interiors. The boat chugged along the Hudson as we chugged our drinks, giving us amazing west side views such as the George Washington Bridge, Riverside Park, and Riverside Church.
As the boat entered back into the dock, the day started to come to a close and the rain clouds began to roll in, as if the party gods knew the celebration was winding down.
Only four more months till Oktoberfest… get your steins ready.