Of course anytime you have a party that size it takes a lot of planning and work but we are really happy with the way it turned out. Also, I learned a lot of things to do/not do/do differently next time. Some of the food could have been prepared sooner and taken a little of the rush off of us. Some of the decorating that I had planned to do didn't get done because I ran out of time. I had intended to decorate the food tables but in the panic of getting ready I ran out of time and forgot some stuff. We also had Ainsley's birthday party too but I will post about that separately - it's the least I can do seeing as how her birthday party was kind of a side note!
I have never been to a real (real being in Germany) Oktoberfest. I wasn't really sure what all they had there, beer, bratwurst, beer, sauerkraut, beer, music.....beer? I wanted to have more than brats and sauerkraut so I decided to include some other German food even if it wasn't traditional Oktoberfest food. I finally decided on German meatballs, sauerkraut with caraway, sauerkraut with apples, red cabbage, applesauce with sour cherries, brats with buns and several types of mustard, potato soup, brown bread, soft pretzels, beer, German wine, apple cider & Black Forest cake. A friend brought some warm potato salad, delicious! And everyone brought drinks, beer, cider, wine, etc. We had a lot of food but almost all of it was eaten!
this is the Black Forest Cake that my mom made
We set up a tent along the side of the addition, under that was the "Beer Tent" and "Pretzel Stand". All of the drinks were set up in the Beer Tent. We had pretzels and warm soft pretzels at the pretzel stand. The rest of the food was set up on the patio along the back of the house. We had asked people to bring lawn chairs so everyone just set up their chairs in the back yard.
We were a little worried where everyone would park, so we set up "General Parking" in the field and "VIP Parking" in the driveway. The VIP was designated for people with small children or the elderly, those that didn't want to walk through the field. Ironically, no one parked in the VIP parking, I guess no one wanted to assume that they were VIP! Since we knew it would be dark when people where leaving we set up a string of lights to help light the way down to the cars, the lights looked so pretty after dark. Also, when it was getting dark we lit a bonfire up behind the house, that helped keep us all warm after the sun went down! One of our neighbors brought some homemade apple pie moonshine...that kept us warm, it was delicious and lethal at the same time!
food table set up on the patio
Of course, I was so busy getting ready for the party that I forgot to take pictures before people got there and then once people were here I didn't get many. Maybe next year I can take more. I had straw bales with pumpkins and gourds set up at the entrance, next year I would like to have someone there to take pictures of people as they arrive. We also need a program or instructions letting people know what is going on. A lot of people did not see the pretzel tent until the night was over.
We had a great time and can't wait till next year!
'til next time...