I'm hot off another spectacular weekend spent at Mount Snow's Oktoberfest. This is the second year in a row that my family and I have attended and it is, hand's down, one our favorite events of the year. Generally speaking, it is hard to really go wrong with a good Oktoberfest celebration. Even the smallest of these festivals turn out just fine. How could they not? There are tons of really happy people that are only made happier by the copious amounts of beer and bratwurst that is readily available to them. However, Mount Snow elevates this happiness to another level that extends far beyond just really good beer. Their Oktoberfest is a whirlwind of fun that will have you wishing that every weekend was this good. Here are just five of the key reasons why.
Family Friendly Means Fun For All
I'm not necessarily opposed to bringing kids to beer themed festivals and I'd be lying if I said that I haven't before. People tend to look at you a little cross eyed in these scenarios. Not because they're lit (well, maybe it is...a little) but because you just probably shouldn't tote them along. However, that is SO not the case at Mount Snow's Oktoberfest. There is just as much to do there for the kids as there is for the adults. Kicking off the afternoon with their own version of the Gulp and Gallop race, they are primed and ready to hit every activity thereafter.
From pumpkin painting, to touch a truck, to the kids' stein hoisting, to bobbing for donuts there is just so much for them to do. My girls love it! And, because the kiddos are having so much fun, that mean's so can the adults.
Everyone Enjoys a Good Competition
Everyone enjoys a good competition and there are plenty of them to chose from. Some people like to drink beer, some people like to run, but athletic beer drinkers like my wife and I, we like to do them both at the same time. That is exactly why we hit the ground running in the Gulp and Gallop 5k. Four laps out and back, each culminated by chugging a beer will have you primed and ready for your day of competitive fun. The Keg Tossing is a fan favorite. Whether competing or not, there is nothing like watching some of these monsters go beast mode as they hurl a keg through the air.
The Stein Hoisting also gets the people amped. Large crowds gather to watch competitors's arms shake uncontrollably while trying not to not let that oh-so-heavy stein of beer drop below shoulder height. These two are great but it is hard to argue the level of enthusiasm that accompanies the schnitzel toss. Nothing says good times like a weiner being tossed back and forth between friends.
Peak Foliage is Breathtaking
Not to get all idyllic on you hear, but the fall foliage in Vermont is outstanding. The dates of Mount Snow's Oktoberfest happen to coincide with it at is peak and that makes everything just a bit better. Beer in hand, take a break from the festivities and look around. The array of colors is fascinating to see. Immerse yourself in it by hiking the mountain to earn your après for the day. Or, soar above it all and get a bird's eye on the Bluebird Express. The culmination of your trip? Stunning views from the mountain top of the fall colors in the picturesque Deerfield Valley.
Costumes Keep Things Interesting
From simple t-shirts with catchy phrases to full on lederhosen and dirndls, there are no shortage of costumes at this festival. I love a good costume. It makes things more interesting especially when those costumes extend above and beyond the traditional German garb. Those are cool and all but when the Teletubbies show up to run the Gulp and Gallop, you know you are in for a good time. Hell, I even had the chance to hang with Jesus, the Pope and the Cardinal this year (aka Jesus and the boys). These former Super Troopers (their costumes last year) were my inspiration to run this year's race in my Tipsy Elves onesie. Throughout the day I watched as they turned water into IPA's and were the focus of many pictures with adoring fans.
No Mountain Does Craft Beer Like Mount Snow
I have maintained time and time again that Mount Snow is arguably the best ski resort in the country when it comes to their craft beer offerings. Food and Beverage director Michael Giorgio can go toe to toe with anyone on his knowledge of the craft beer scene. He parlays his firm grasp of this market into an epic selection of suds throughout the year. Festivals like Oktoberfest only magnify this. A tasting ground for craft breweries from the tiny to the large it serves as a barometer for what they will offer at bars like Canned and The Bullwheel this coming winter. As I sampled craft beer from over 36 different breweries I was blown away by the variety of styles that were available on this given day. Zero Gravity, Maine Beer, Two Roads, Fiddlehead...it was hard to make a bad choice and my only regret was that I could not try them all.