It’s All About the Drank

Ashton Ruiz, Staff Writer

     On this special night, the smell of Bavaria and the sound of German greeted the partygoers. German enthusiasts gathered in the cafeteria to commemorate the 176th Oktoberfest taking place in Munich. Originally, this festival was to celebrate the marriage of the king and queen of southern Germany. There was a horse race and later a large parade, but today Germany’s biggest attraction has changed.

     “There’s a lot of drinking involved,” senior Reid Schadle said decked out in his lederhosen. “No, I’m not talking about alcoholic beverages, but just drinking in general.”

     To combat the minor cultural challenge, the German Club served traditional Bavarian food like bratwurst, potato salad, pretzels, Spätzel and stocked up on A&W Root Beer instead. The German Club also incorporated their own versions of typical German dances and games.

     “We try to do a lot of different activities that will appeal to different people,” German Club Sponsor Beth Smith said.

      One such activity was the “hand jive,” led by Smith with a circle of participants speeding up the given clapping, patting, leg crossing, and spinning pattern to CD music. Then, the group sang and did hand motions to their own Bier songs, ranging from traditional to improv. Shortly following that, the German folkdancers gathered people to learn a quick dance called Hammerschmiede or “hammer mill”.

     “It was a lot of fun to do,” senior and German Club president Iva Kinnaird said. “I wasn’t expecting that much movement.”     

     After all of the food and activity, it was time for the most anticipated event – the Root Beer Guzzle-Off. The winners of this determined the German Club’s representative at Sportsfest, a regional sports competition between several districts’ German classes hosted by Plano.

     First the girls’ group, then the guys’ group lined up, cups in hand, awaiting the signal from the timer. Only a few seconds later, the victors emerged: Trina Carpenter with seven seconds and Schadle with three.

     “It’s a record any mother could be proud of!” Smith said.

     Not only did the contestants amuse the crowd by chugging the root beer, they had to prove their cup was really empty by wearing it on their head.

     “It’s funny to watch everyone drink really fast and then almost throw up,” senior Madeleine Riccardi said. “It’s kind of gross, but kind of interesting.”

      Even for the participants, there’s something to be said about the thrill of the Oktoberfest Guzzle-Off.

     “I got it all over my shirt,” junior Greg Maisel said. “But you know what, it was better than sitting my butt at home.”