Fort Belvoir’s 21st Annual Oktoberfest “One of the best ever”

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Starting in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer and travel festival. Luckily, those living in Virginia don’t have to travel 5,000 miles to experience the event. Each year, the Fort Belvoir Army Base hosts their very own Oktoberfest with authentic German food and drinks, music, dancing, and carnival rides. This year was the 21st annual festival, running from September 28-October 1, 2017.

“It has been one of the best ever,” Kim Mills said, spokesperson for the event. “We took all the suggestions for improvements that we could and learned lessons from past events and we think that we have provided some of the best food and entertainment and community-wide event we’ve ever had.”

The four-day festival included a 10K Volksmarch, food trucks, live music, a fall bazaar, a “Kinder Korner” activity for children, and many carnival rides.

“My favorite rides were the drop tower and the Ferris wheel because they were so fun and not scary and it was really cool to look down at the rest of the festival from them,” Lux Ray, attending the event with her friends, said.

The festival drew more than 18,500 community members according to Ryan Moran, the community activities coordinator.

“This is one of the very few events that are open to the general public. We feel that Fort Belvoir has a large presence in the D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area and it is a great opportunity to invite and to come and take part in this annual celebration,” Moran said.

New activities at the Oktoberfest included the Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest best dressed competition, a yodeling contest, and an ice bucket holding competition on Saturday night.

“What we try to do every year is to make it more authentic. A lot of people have talked about how they have been to Oktoberfest in Germany. We try to give it the same feel here,” Moran said.

Friends and families are a common theme at Oktoberfest. It is a special time to make memories and celebrate the beginning of fall and German heritage.

When asked what was special to them about Oktoberfest, Gabriel Castor said, “It’s the environment that really makes it special; it puts you in a good mood. I like going with my friends.”

Some families even make a tradition to find time to go together every year.

“I’ve been going to Oktoberfest with my family since I was really little so it’s our little tradition,” said Keren Promedi, whose family has made it a yearly custom to have an outing together at Oktoberfest.

Next year is sure to be even better, so mark your calendars now for October 2018, and come out and enjoy the 22nd annual festival!