The Woodlands Oktoberfest

Well, we’re in the midst of getting ready for a new baby, so there’s not been much time or energy for me to update this blog, even though I’ve got plenty of outings in Texas and Switzerland to share up my sleeve.

Today, though, I’ve got to share just how utterly pathetic The Woodlands Oktoberfest was. I think what made me the most angry was the admission fee. Never have I paid so much and gotten so little. As much as we were disappointed by the Tomball German Heritage Festival earlier this year, that festival made The Woodlands Oktoberfest look like a corner lemonade stand.

How about I share the one good part of The Woodlands Oktoberfest first. The “kinderfest” area, hosted by The Woodlands Children’s Museum, was actually a lot of fun. Our toddler got his face painted, played with a sand table, and made a gingerbread-man puppet. There were handful of other crafts for kids, too, and it was a great area of the festival.

Aside from the children’s area, there were two music stages, about half a dozen food and beer booths, and even less craft/vendor booths. Oh, and a ton of mud. Plywood sheets had been half-heartedly slapped across some of the worst areas, but we got stuck in deep mud under the tent for one of the music stages, and had quite a bit of cleanup to do on our stroller and shoes when we came home.

The food was a mix of American festival food (BBQ, funnel cakes, etc), and your very basic German food: Bratwurst with sauerkraut and potato salad, and apple streudel. My husband got a reuben, which wasn’t half-bad. I got a pretzel to share with the kiddo (he spit it out), which was about as good as you could get in an American mall, and nothing like the bretzels you get in Switzerland or Germany. I also got a tiny bratwurst that was burnt to a crisp on the outside, and  bland and gritty on the inside. I’ve honestly never had such an awful bratwurst, and I don’t know where they bought these, or how you could cook them so poorly. The apple streudel was passable.

The beer selection was Zeigenboch (a local Texas brew), nasty Budweiser in all of its American variations, and Sam Adams Oktoberfest. Hubby said there were three German beers to choose from at a higher price. For American beer, he was charged $7. My coke was $3.

Moving on to the vendors. There was ONE and I mean ONE single booth devoted to German “stuff.” It was your average tourist fare: pins, t-shirts, questionable-looking lebkuchen cookies (I think, but I’m not sure), and steins. There was also some sort of spa booth, a bbq sauce booth, a sari/scarf booth, and some sort of table cloth booth.

The music that we heard while we were there wasn’t that great, either. Though when one of the bands swung into “Mustang Sally,” our toddler couldn’t stop dancing.

In half an hour, you could see all that there was to be seen. We managed to stay about an hour and a half, and that was mostly taken up with eating, and hanging out in the Kinderfest area.

Was it worth $10 an adult? Absolutely not! Will we go again next year? Absolutely not, and we’ll tell everyone we know (starting with you, dear reader) to avoid it until they get their act together. Shame on you, Woodlands Rotary Club! What a disaster!


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