Provo’s Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is usually associated with the traditional festival in Munich, Germany, which lasts for 16 days in late September and early October and is most widely known for the massive amounts of beer consumed during the festivities. But in Provo, the fest took on a whole new meaning at University Villa apartments on Saturday, Oct. 27.

The Utah County version of Oktoberfest conforms to fit the predominant culture of the valley (which means mass consumption of root beer as opposed to its alcoholic relative), but it also brings a glimpse of German culture, bratwurst, lederhosen and fun to the hundreds of college-age kids in attendance.

"We pretty much jam packed all things German into three hours," said creator and master of ceremonies Jarom Sidwell. Sidwell and some friends started the annual Provo party in his back yard five years ago.

This year, as the event has evolved into one of the craziest and well-known parties of the season, J-Dawgs, Smart Cookie and Wilson Diamonds all helped Sidwell the managers of University Villa take Oktoberfest to an all-new level.

While the hotdogs and root beer flowed freely, everyone was invited to participate in an "Autobahn" shopping cart race, a root beer chugging competition, the breaking down of a cinderblock replica of the Berlin Wall and polka lessons.

Women participated in a "Ms. Deutschland" competition, which involved eating a bratwurst, drinking a cup of root beer, sawing a log, hauling a man in a wheelbarrow around a barrier and tackling a man in a hotdog costume onto a mattress. The winners of the competition had to give platform speeches to please the crowd and solicit the loudest cheers. The winning platform was based on "red leather lederhosen for everyone."
Men participated in a competition of strength and skill.
 Participants chopped wood, threw root beer barrels into the pool and tried to shoot down the "Red Barron" with a balloon launcher. The winner was thrown into the pool, as were about a dozen other people during the course of the night.

The highlight of the night was the cake swim, which was open to all who wanted to jump in. In a large mass of frosted cakes and toast drizzled in pudding, there was a ring worth $1,000 donated by Wilson Diamonds. The swim quickly turned into a massive dog pile, out of which Joshua Bell eventually emerged with the grand prize. Bell, who doesn’t have anyone to give the ring to, was more than happy for the thousand-dollar prize.

Aside from the intense competitions, "The Hoff " (David Forston, who also played the part of the referee in the human foosball game and a large German girl named Helga during the party) made a surprise appearance and performed "Hooked On a Feeling." Music videos of other songs by David Hasselhoff were projected onto a screen throughout the night as well.

While not exactly correlating directly with the real German festival, University Villa’s version of Oktoberfest is definitely a crazy party that BYU and UVSC students alike can enjoy and look forward to every October

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