The World Yacht’s second annual Oktoberfest on the Hudson, held Saturday afternoon at Pier 81 in Manhattan, was surprisingly fun and entertaining. Featuring polka music, professional dancers and lots of beer and German fare, I got into the festivities a lot more than I expected and had a great time.
The one-day only festival was held in conjunction with the German-American Steuben Parade, with authentic German beer sponsored by Paulaner. With food and drink tickets you could sample any of the four Paulaner beers available along with bratwursts, hamburgers, frankfurters, pretzels, french fries and other snacks.
I didn’t sample everything, but of what I tried it was (of course) the beer that stood out. Full-bodied with crisp and bold flavors, I understood why everyone seemed to have drunk so much of it. It was really delicious. My favorite was the Paulaner Wiesn, but the other varieties served were Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen, and Paulaner Premium Pils.
The festival attracted a large and mixed crowd with younger and older partygoers, some die-hard Oktoberfest lovers and others just looking for a good time. Fill those people up with all that good beer and food and what do you get? Dancing, singing, shouting, and lots of laughter. The energetic and enthusiastic attitude of the attendees was really contagious, and I found myself singing along and dancing to the music too.
The Polka Brothers, a group of four talented and comedic performers, provided polka music throughout the event. The group takes pop and rock songs and turns them into polka. They also perform some original (always funny) creations. Songs like “The Beer Goggle Polka,” “In Heaven There Is No Beer,” and “The Sausage Festival” kept the show youthful, fun and entertaining. The band received quite a rebuke when they announced the show was over, because no one wanted the music to stop, myself included.
While World Yacht’s Oktoberfest on the Hudson probably doesn’t come close to the real festival in Berlin, it was still a great event that I thoroughly enjoyed attending. From the pictures it looks like everyone else did too.
– Karina Schroeder