Finally, Oktoberfest arrived, the event we have been waiting for. It was a long day but so much fun and amazing to watch what the Park had accomplished. It was so professionally done. It was a classy affair that had something for everyone. It was affordable to anyone according to their wishes. Or you could spend and drink and party to your hearts delight.
Oktoberfest was not something we knew about at first. This is an affair separate from what the Workampers were expected to do to finish their season. Last year which was the 1st, was much smaller, so this year the plans had grown and escalated to quite a large affair. We kept hearing about the plans, games would be open in 2 of the 3 areas, and many of the large rides would also be open. It sounded exciting, so we decided to stay and work. A number of other Workampers stayed also. After last Sunday of working, which was the last day we had to stay to satisfy our bonus, many of the Workampers left the campground. It was really a mass exit…..Then mid week all the weekenders started filling up the lots again, just for Oktoberfest. By Friday we were quite full again….
We knew they were putting new LED lighting on the Big Wheel. Last Thursday, Rich looked out the window towards the park and he said, Look the Big Wheel lights are on. We sat their and watched in delight, and then drove the golf cart to the parking lot. I took pics and a video. It was so beautiful. The colors changed, moved in a wheel, moved in swirls…..It was so pretty. They ran all evening till 10pm and again Friday nite. Finally Saturday came. We arrived at 10:15 am to turn in our uniforms for the year. I was in Games again and was assigned Alpine which would be up by the main stage….This is just where I wanted to be. Right in the middle of the action. Now Rich was assigned to the Tilt a Whirl. He would be near the back of the park and probably wouldn’t see as much action. This year they would be having 13 bands on 7 different stages through out the park at different times. Wow. It was a rather cool morning to start, so I wore jeans. It was going to be a casual affair for us in Games as many of our rules were relaxed. We could buy from the many food vendors in the park, and their were many (although Rich had to eat in the commissary, strange, it was a rule for Rides. ). We were also allowed to take our phones. Soooo pictures….YES…..So the gates opened at 11 am.
Their just so happened to be 2 Iowa football games that afternoon, so things started slowly. They had also brought in a big screen for the bands so they also played the football games for those interested. Tickets were only $15 to enter, that also got you a mug with Samuel Adams Beer. Very reasonable. At break time I wandered the park and bought a sandwich and found some really cool things they were offering for fun to play. No cost.
Bean Bags on Main Street
Connect Four….. King Size
Huge Jenga……These were placed in a number of places through out the park.
This was really cool….It is a moustache Tetter Totter
Beer Pong….Everyone was having so much fun. They also added some other beer games that cost.
Pumpkin Launch….Their was a small wooden boat in the water. If you made it you got a fun trinket, Key chain or beads I believe.
Keg Bowling…..lol…I think this is self explanatory….I believe all these games were $3 each….not to expensive…
How about Speed Beer….Shake up a can of beer and throw it…See how fast you can throw…..As the day progressed, more people came. Finally I heard at 6pm the tickets booths outside were standing line, and the parking lot was getting full. The last i heard our count was 7,000 people. I was working the game Mr. Frog, which was near main stage. All the bands were playing through the park at different times, but main stage was going to be playing last until 9:30 and then the ……Fireworks….Grand Finale…..The last band began…..The Spazmatics…..They were so good. They played music of the 80’s….Fabulous sounds and High Energy music….It turns out, they are a “Chain Band” from Chicago. That means their are many chains of the same band through out the US. Listening to them and watching the Big Wheel lites behind them was just Magical.
The people were having a blast, dancing and moving and singing to the music. The crowds became so thick, I couldn’t hardly see the band anymore. Lots of people were stopping to play Mr. Frog though. I became very busy.
This game is really a neat game that has been here for years. You buy rubber frogs to launch in a launcher.
You hit it with a mallet and try to land the frog in the white lily pad that is moving in circles in the water. So as you know, most people miss and the frog lands in the water. So I have to pluck the frogs out…..lol…by the end of the evening I was soaked….You get 3 frogs for $3, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10. People love this game.
All through the park the big rides were running. Rich said he had lines all night. Nonstop. The big rides were busy ..Monster, Tornado, Space Shot and the Storm Search. Everyone was having a blast, most of them walking around with a mug of beer in hand. But was their any problems? You would think that alcohol and all the rides wouldn’t mix. I heard of a few problems but the police force were patrolling through the park all nite. From my and Rich’s viewpoint, everyone was well behaved. They were laughing, singing, dancing….Being Happy…..Finally it was almost 9:30 and the band called last song. Soon as the last chords were played the Fireworks began…..Beautiful fireworks in the sky. What a wonderful fitting finish to an Evening of Magic…..
So the lights on the Big Wheel continued till 10 pm. We packed up the games for the last time this season….Counted my frogs for inventory….lol…Put them in their plastic bin to be taken in the building….Said my goodbyes to the kids I worked with…..Little by little the people cleared out….Rich and I headed back to the employees area, turned in our last shirts we had on and left the building…..Got in our golf cart and headed to our campsite for the last time this year……Whewwww…..Finally, its over…..but its Bittersweet….We are ready to leave but, its also sad to leave…….Well weve been packing for several days, so Sunday we packed up what was left and left by 2 pm….Headed to Illinois….but ohhhh soooo Tired….Worked almost 12 hours Saturday…….Didn’t realize I was so tired…..
But What a Wonderful Day and Evening it Was…..Adventureland, you put on a Class Act….