Friday, September 18, 2009

Strassenfest


Much of my misspent youth was centered around River City and its environs. If you took a generous view of what constituted a suburb, many of the local suburban Illinois communities were founded by German immigrants in the mid 1800's. The good Germans brought many of their traditions including drunken September street fairs.

For many years, the town of Columbia held the fair. Eventually times changed and instead of watching dad in his liederhosen, dancing the polka, the fun turned decidedly towards beer swilling and wurst sampling. The burghers of Columbia said, " we want these drunken kids here why?" And put the kibosh to the fun.

Next, the city of Saint Louis found a guy who was a great organizer, and who was leaving town sooner than he planned, and told him to throw the Strassenfest on main street. After a year or two of deadly street fights, drunken mobs, and more crime than the city dare report to the FBI crime stat bureau, even the polka king refused to show up. A couple of years later, after the cops said they would no longer patrol, the City gave up the ghost. The fest had to move on.

So what did they do? You're not gonna believe this.

They moved the fest to Mayberry.

Word is, we had a German tourist here once, so the town fathers, who wouldn't for love nor money have visited the city fair, decided why not have a German street fair as a remembrance. There needed to be conditions though.

This is where it becomes interesting.

1. No beer! No drinking and driving, no endangering the locals, no putting local girls at risk from underage/overage imbibers.

2. No public transportation. Buses need to be re routed. God knows they don't want that element.

3. No nearby parking. ALL attendees shall be bused to and from the fun.

Sounds like a whale of a good time doesn't it. Octoberfest without beer. Cuts down on the number of port a potties.

It's this weekend if you no other plans.

Toad

8 comments:

Martha said...

Sounds like a fun time -- NOT! We do (my husband and I) an Oktoberfest for the Rotary Club (he's the Rotarian -- I'm not) where we turn our city park into a bit of Bavaria for a night --

Enjoy your fest!

longwing said...

I'm predicting riots.

Katy McIntyre said...

If I had known I would have come in a few days early. ;-)

Patsy said...

oh drat! I do have other plans this weekend, too bad.......

ADG said...

No beer. What about whiskey?

Toad said...

Strictly BYO

Sartre said...

People look at me cross-eyed when I say this -- given what you can see on TV these days -- but the ol' Puritan strain in the U.S. is stronger on the wing than ever.

Kathleen said...

Yikes. No beer? What a weird idea for Oktoberfest.