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Oktoberfest in the Canadian country side

The band "The Sunshine Boys" played at the Oktoberfest in OsoyoosOsoyoos is a town of approximately 5000 people located in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley, southern BC. The fertile valley is nationally known for its orchards and vineyards. Osoyoos has the highest average temperatures in Canada, which is one of the reasons why many retirees live here. Between locals, visitors and Canadian campers, who now enjoy this pleasant weather here but will soon move on as so-called snowbirds to the southern states of the US, we attended our first Oktoberfest.

We have never been to the Oktoberfest in Munich, but it’s not exactly that you must have been there to know what it’s all about. Therefore, we were very excited to attend an Oktoberfest in Canada and we didn’t want to miss out on this. It was announced as a fundraiser with a live band and traditional German food. It would start at 8.00PM and the buffet would be served by 10.00PM.

Time travel

Together with our campground neighbours from Saskatoon, we arrived at the local recreation centre around 9.00PM. At the entrance, a lady received our entrance fee and in return we got a stamp on our arm. This reminded me of "my" village in southern Germany, where we also got a stamp when we attended a dance in the gym.

We entered and sat in the dimly lit gym at one of the round tables with white tablecloths. In a spotlight on stage the Sunny Boys played. On the dance floor, in front of the stage, people were dancing. For me it felt like going back in time. What took place here was just as I remembered it from my youth. The only thing missing was the bar, which was always in a corner of the gym hidden behind some bamboo mats.

The staff here was not dressed in a dirndl and carrying around Masskrug Beer, although we discovered one lady who wore a dirndl. Our friend from Saskatoon thought this was a funny outfit. The drinks were sold at the bar, alcohol-free was included in the admission price alcoholic drinks were charged. All drinks were served in plastic cups.

The three Sunny Boys did a great job with a wide range of musical styles which kept the audience in a good mood. From pop and country music to Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys and the Dire Straits to hard rock and polka; it was all included in their repertoire.

Mini sausages and cold sauerkraut

Then, by 10.00PM, the buffet was opened and our friends from Saskatoon wanted to know whether the food was real traditional German food. There were mini sausages and mini schnitzels in mini buns. The schnitzels and sausages tasted pretty good. The potato salad consisted of thick, unpeeled potato slices with a little mayonnaise which we didn’t really like. The sauerkraut was again cold, but the red cabbage was warm and really delicious. The "Spätzle" were small and angular - not like they should be. For dessert there was a cake that looked like black forest cake.

Conclusion: Oktoberfest in Canada - at least in Osoyoos – is called Oktoberfest, because it takes place in October and not in September, like the original in Munich.

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