Germans share their perspective on La Crosse’s Oktoberfest

Chantal Zimmermann, Staff Reporter

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As the Oktoberfest weekend came to a conclusion, German international students took the time to reflect on the differences between Oktoberfest in the city of La Crosse versus back home in Germany. Curious about the festivities that La Crosse had to offer, German students made their way downtown to see how the city celebrated the German holiday.

“Oktoberfest is from Munich, Germany,” mentioned junior Lennard Gehr. He is an international student from Hamburg, Germany. During his time spent at the German Oktoberfest, he included, “It was way too crowded, busy, aggressive and expensive.”

Another international student from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Nadine said, “Oktoberfest itself is a Bavarian tradition. It isn’t celebrated everywhere in Germany.”

She continued, “During that time, many stores offer typical Bavarian food or the Bavarian blue and white flag for everyone who wishes to celebrate their own version at home.”

In Germany, Gehr mentioned, “When you go everybody is going to have a dirndl or lederhosen on. It is traditional Bavarian clothing and you will not gain access if you don’t dress accordingly.”

He had a different experience with Oktoberfest in La Crosse. He commented, “Here in La Crosse, it was very peaceful. Only a few people wore the traditional clothes, and there was a lot less places to choose from.”

“I noticed that stores were trying to be overly German. They had Hammerschlagen, which, basically, you are supposed to hit a nail with a hammer. I have never seen this game in Germany,” explained Gehr.

During Oktoberfest, Nadine went to the Maple Leaf Parade. She said, “The traditional costumes at the Maple Leaf Parade were impressive, as they wore a complete outfit with socks, shoes and cardigans.”

She added, “Every wagon I saw was beautifully decorated and I enjoyed watching it.” She shared that her favorite part of La Crosse’s Oktoberfest was the fireworks on Sunday evening.

Gehr concluded, “Everybody was having a good time. It was a great experience and I liked that they played some German songs as well. I would definitely come to La Crosse’s Oktoberfest.”

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