It is the 50th anniversary of the Denver Oktoberfest and we decided to go to the opening weekend of this popular event. The Oktoberfest festival takes place over two weekends and draws very large crowds enjoying German beer, food, and folk music. Many of the people who attend Oktoberfest dress in traditional German clothing making it even more festive. In addition to the beer and food, there are also a variety of games available to play, such as keg bowling.
There are several types of tickets that you can purchase at the event or in advance, but we’d definitely recommend purchasing tickets in advance as the lines can be quite long. Other than for crafts and merchandise, you must have tickets to get beer, food, and play certain games as cash is not accepted. We chose a ticket option that included a 34 oz souvenir mug with a couple of refills. We had both a hefeweisen and darker Oktoberfest from Spaten. It is definitely important to pace yourself in order not to overdrink and turn a good time into a bad time.
Obviously there is plenty of German food available including different types of bratwurst, currywurst, schnitzle, pretzels, latkes, and apple strudel. We had bratwurst with sauerkraut accompanied with potato pancakes, called latkes, one with sour cream and the other with apple sauce. Later we got a chicken, paprika schnitzel with spätzle as well as apple strudel. With drinking 68 ounces of beer, eating food was an absolute must. The food was really good and definitely reminded us of our time living in Germany.
One of the most popular games was the stein hoisting contest, where people attempt to hold two steins straight out for as long as possible. It was certainly popular for people to watch as well as to participate and having done it in the past, we know that it is extremely difficult. Keg bowling was another popular game with lots of people cheering on those who attempted to knock over kegs with another keg on wheels.
Different musicians play throughout the day, all of them playing festive German folk music. People dance and sing along with the various bands that play, obviously participating more and more as the beer continued to flow. In addition to the people dressing up in traditional clothing, there were also plenty of dogs dressed up as well. Going to the Denver Oktoberfest is certainly a fun experience that we would highly recommend. We had a wonderful time enjoying everything that the festival had to offer.
In addition to being the highest capital in the world, La Paz also has a very unique topography. Buildings cover almost every inch of the mountainous hillsides and the heart of the city sits down in a valley. On the outskirts of La Paz is a very interesting place called the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) with an almost other-worldly landscape. Erosion of the clay in the mountain has resulted in huge spires that cover the area, creating a rugged and stark environment.
If the scenery wasn’t surreal enough, there was a flute player that climbed to the top of one of the jagged peaks playing very haunting, traditional music. The sounds of the music echoed throughout the valley, creating a very haunting atmosphere. There were very few people there on the day that we visited, which also added to the overall experience. We have seen some very unique geology, but visiting the Valle de la Luna is certainly one of the most fascinating.
There is a path with wooden stairs that wind their way throughout the park. There are also observation decks that overlook some of the more interesting features of the valley. As we walked around the valley, the flute player continued to move from one peak to another, almost as if he was shadowing our movements. For anyone who visits La Paz, the Valley of the Moon should definitely be on your agenda.
Regardless of where you are, supporting a local cause is a great way to do something good and make yourself feel good in the process. When that support comes in the form of attending an event, then it is even better. Over the weekend, we went to an event called Pints for Paws Brewfest with the proceeds going to the local Humane Society. Several restaurants and breweries provided food and beers and there was a local band providing festive music as well. The cost of the event was reasonable and the cause was certainly worthwhile.
We have always been firm believers in getting a rescue animal if you are interested in getting a dog or cat as a pet. We have had several dogs and a cat that were all rescue animals throughout the years, although we don’t currently have any pets as we aren’t home enough to take care of them properly. Our last puppy lived to be 17 years old and we have very vivid memories of going to pick him out. At the time, our youngest daughter wanted to get a dog and she was hoping to get a golden retriever. We went to the animal shelter and there were a couple of retrievers, but they had a long list of names of people wanting to adopt them.
We kept walking around and then a cute little black and brown dog caught our eye. Our daughter knelt next to him and he raised his paw to give her a high-five. His description listed him as a Rottweiler Mix, but he was much more of an Australian Cattle Dog. Unlike the other dogs where we would have had to wait before we could take them home, he was available immediately, most likely due to people being fearful of adopting a dog that had been labeled a Rottweiler. He was one of the most loving and loyal dogs that we have ever adopted.