Who would have ever thought that beer and college would actually mix well together? Oktoberfest is an annual German folk festival that lasts 16-18 days, beginning in late September and ending on the first Sunday of October. More than six million people worldwide make the trip to Munich, Germany to see the various parades, hear the local music, eat the cultural food and drink a lot of beer.
On Thursday, Oct. 21, university students got a taste of what this event is like and all the beer and pretzels that come with it. The Campus Activities Team (CAT) organized and hosted an Oktoberfest-themed celebration for those older than 21 years old at the Driscoll Hall tent adjacent to the tennis courts. It is part of CAT’s new Pub Series, which began last year to keep students from partying off-campus during the pandemic. While the pandemic appears to be dissipating, Club President Grace Pawelczyk says CAT is still hosting the series for seniors this year to foster a sense of community.
“It’s been hard with this past year,” Pawelczyk said. “You know with seniors, we really want to make sure that their experience is the best that it can be, and I feel like having senior-specific events is a great way to do that.”
CAT uploaded an Instagram post describing the event and told people where they could get a ticket. Once received via email, tickets granted students entry after waiting in a line of about 100, most of whom were seniors trying to take advantage of what the University offers before they graduate.
“I think that as seniors, it’s a good way for us, not really know each other, but get to see all the faces that we haven’t seen before,” senior Jaylene Joseph said. “Like, there’s like at least ten or twenty people in this tent that I have never seen before, but it’s just kinda like nice to know who are the people we’re graduating with,”
Upon entry, student volunteers wrapped participants’ wrists with a pink, plastic event wristband with three tabs attached to its side. Each tab was numbered and used as drink vouchers to ensure all students had a maximum of three drinks. Next, more team members invited the students to make their way over to the food table, where they picked up a plastic beer stein that had the CAT Pub Series logo printed on it. After, they were served a bratwurst — a type of German sausage — along with sauerkraut, a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a giant pretzel with cheese sauce draped over it. Once they got their food, students stepped over to the makeshift bar to spend the first of their three tabs. A local bartender from La Cabra Brewing offered a drink from a tap that included a few beers, a cider and a seltzer. Students eventually spent their remaining tabs throughout the event.
As more students got their meals and beverages, others began sitting down at tables that spanned the length of the tent. Before the event, CAT had decorated the venue with party lights, Oktoberfest pennants and lanterns and a board that students could stick their faces through to look like they were wearing traditional Oktoberfest lederhosen for a photo-op. They also had games and activities planned and encouraged all the students to play or cheer on their classmates. All this enhanced the atmosphere and camaraderie among those in attendance.
Even though people may not be able to fly to Germany right now, students can thank the pandemic for more senior events at the university and CAT for conveniently bringing Munich to Villanova.