Oaks Park’s Oktoberfest is back – with beer, sausage, sauerkraut, dancing

INCLUDES OKTOBER-FESTIVE VIDEO |Just look at the fun that attracted so many outer East Portland families to this returning annual tradition at Oaks Amusement Park …

The Grand Festhalle is the center of fun, dining, dancing, and activities at the 2023 Oktoberfest in historic Oaks Amusement Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After the pandemic, the fall fun event of the year, Oktoberfest, was back this year at nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park – on the weekend of September 22 through 24.

In both the Grand Festhalle and in the  smaller Northwest Festhalle, music and dance kept the family-oriented event lively. Bands playing in both venues were constantly urged by guests to play the famous Chicken Dance song.

On the midway, Oaks Park Association Marketing and Events Director Emily MacKay welcomes guests to the 2023 Oktoberfest.

“This year’s Oktoberfest was, well, just wonderful!” expressed Oaks Park Association Marketing and Events Director Emily MacKay, as the event wrapped up.

Enjoy our fun-filled, festive video visit to the Oaks Amusement Park 2023 Oktoberfest:

“Attendance was strong, and the community had a wonderful time celebrating together,” MacKay told East Portland News. “Our crew did a wonderful job resurrecting Oktoberfest after the pandemic kept it closed for three years; and we’re so proud that we were able to put it on in grand style.”

In the Northwest Festhalle Leikarringen of Portland performs traditional German dances of the season.

Participating in a perennial but non-sanctioned competition, “Empty Cup Stacking” at Oktoberfest, here’s guest Chrissy Hayunga.

Dancing to tunes provided by the famous Polkatones are guests Moira Lieterson and Cliff Yaakola.

Over its three days, the Oaks Park Oktoberfest welcomed about 10,000 guests, which was pretty much on par with the previous years.

For those wishing to imbibe, a selection of beers and hard ciders were available to enjoy. A local favorite was the Hopfenbombe IPA, brewed with traditional German methods and ingredients by Zoiglhaus Brewing Company, located in the Lents neighborhood.

At just one of the many food vendors – The Waffle Cloud – Blake Halstrom and Matt Bessler show some of their savory treats.

Oaks Park’s mascot Chipper joins in with others performing the “Chicken Dance”.

“We had some new performers that were a big hit,” recalled MacKay. “And,  there were tons of kids at the festival, continuing our tradition of being the Pacific Northwest’s most family-friendly Oktoberfest.

“Our staff shared that they had some really special moments with our long-time friends and customers,” MacKay said. “And, we’re already starting to plan Oktoberfest 2024, which will be on September 20-22.”

On our Front Page: Kicking up their heels are The Tirolean Dancers.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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