GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Look out, Glenwood Oktoberfest, Julian Vogt will be looking for a dance partner Saturday.
The 102-year-old staple at the Glenwood Market’s annual tribute to Munich’s 203-year-old fall festival loves to dance. And he’ll be showing off his infamous moves at Centennial Park.
“I have become fitter and fitter, and ready to take on Oktoberfests,” said Vogt, who has a Bavarian background. “I even took a dance lesson with my friend at the Glenwood Dance Academy. But I insist that lessons are not necessary for pop dances such as Oktoberfests and dancing in the park in the summer.”
Oktoberfest — taking place from noon to 7 p.m. at Ninth and Grand in downtown Glenwood Springs — features rock, pop and soul music by the Missing Link Band to start off the day. Bavarian tunes by the valley’s own Alpine Echo will fill the streets from 3:30-7 p.m.
“Julian Vogt always attends to dance while John Pataky, of Rosi’s Little Bavarian Restaurant, and friends entertain,” said event coordinator Cindy Svatos, Glenwood Market co-founder. “And we’ll have beer mug-holding contests and a Chicken Dance championship dance-off.”
Svatos said the fresh German fare will mirror the annual Oktoberfest made famous in Germany. She said the original Oktoberfest took place in Munich on Oct. 12, 1810, as a public celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen. An agricultural show was added to celebrate the harvest season and, later, the 16-day celebration was pushed forward when the days were longer and warmer in late September.
“Our festivalgoers can indulge in German food, and some of the regular season Downtown Market vendors will be part of the festivities, including Col. Clifton DeBeQue with his famous Bloody Mary fixings so people can stock up for the holidays,” Svatos said. “And Andy’s always serves up the best in homemade brats, streusel and stroganoff.”
Svatos said last year’s event attracted people from all over Colorado — as well as some international visitors.
“We did a ZIP code survey last year and people from Ukraine attended,” she said. “We have had calls from people throughout the state and beyond to check on dates of the event and wanting to return to our charming, small town Oktoberfest. Leaf peeping is usually peaking this weekend, though probably not this year.”
Of course no Oktoberfest is complete without beer, in various flavors.
“Seasonal brews from Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company will be on tap, including Barrel Rolls Oktoberfest and Dotsero Cream Ale. The Brewpub will also be donating their signature root beer,” Svatos said. “Wine from 5680 Vineyard and Red Mountain Liquor will also be served.”
Along with Oktoberfest, the ladies of the Downtown Market are also getting in the spirit of Halloween and philanthropy with their handmade Witchy Hats available for sale at Oktoberfest.
“Proceeds from the Witchy Hats will go to the Colorado Farm Bureau, which has set up a disaster fund to aid farmers and ranchers directly impacted by the flooding in northeast Colorado. The funds will go directly to the small growers on the Eastern Slope whose crops and livestock were greatly compromised by the recent floods,” Svatos said. “Downtown Market board members create each unique hat using their overactive, creative imaginations. Find the hat that best suits you.”
The hats may come in handy for those a bit timid to hit the Oktoberfest dance floor.
Vogt offers his tips on dancing in front of a crowd.
“One simply listens to the music, and steps, or sways, with the rhythm,” he said. “Proof that this works is that one’s partner easily follows, without trampling your toes. And it’s great fun and good exercise.”
Along with dance lessons, Vogt said he has been working out to stay fit and be at his best dancing condition for the valley’s Oktoberfests, including Glenwood’s event this weekend and Carbondale’s party on Oct. 5.
Although Vogt enjoys having workout and dance partners lined up, he said he has no problem meeting new friends who enjoy Bavarian fun.
“As for the local Oktoberfest Saturday, I shall probably go without a partner. My partners will be working or otherwise busy, and I like busy people,” he said. “So I’ll have to find a partner at the fest, which begins with pop music at noon, then Bavarian music at 3:30. Since I can do pop in the park, I shall go only at 3:30 for the Bavarian music and program.”