Sandy woman, native of Germany, loves to celebrate Oktoberfest
In 2006, Helga Fischer regaled a crowd at the Sandy Oktoberfest with her performance of the Chicken Dance, the official event dance.
Though she grew up in Frankfurt, Germany, and attended the real Oktoberfest in Munich, Fischer loves the Sandy version and can't wait to return for the 2011 event. It's been five years since she last attended because of a busy work schedule.
Fischer and her husband were just dating when he decided to move from Germany to Sandy. She visited him on a vacation and didn't want to leave. After tying up loose ends in Germany and marrying, the couple set their sights on land in Sandy.
Twenty-eight years later, the couple still live in the Bavarian-style home they build on Colorado Road and say they love the community of Sandy.
Though she acknowledges that Oktoberfest in Sandy is not completely authentic, Fischer says she loves how the event has grown since its beginnings and offers a flavor of German culture.
It's been years since Fischer attended an Oktoberfest in Munich. She has rich memories of wearing traditional beer maiden costumes and celebrating among millions of people during the two-week Oktoberfest that draws people from around the world.
The music is lively, the beers are filled to the liter mark, and the food is 'the best' - sauerkraut, pretzels, grilled pork and heart-shaped gingerbread, among many delicacies -- according to Fischer.
Fischer said Oktoberfest generally marks the end of the harvest season. She tells people who don't understand why it's held in September that Oktoberfest has a much better ring to it than Septemberfest. Plus, in Oregon, the weather is better.
For her, it's a fun time marked with dancing and friends. And this year, she'll bring a fresh crew of friends from St. Michaels Catholic Church and her work at Fred Meyer deli to learn the Chicken Dance.
Why is it called Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is widely known as a fall festival, celebrating the harvest and shipment of crops. In Munich, the event's headquarters, Oktoberfest begins in September, too.
Since its inaugural event, Sandy Oktoberfest has been held around the second week September when the 'hop harvest is in.'
According to Bud Abraham, Sandy Oktoberfest chairman, another reason for celebrating Oktoberfest in September is the weather tends to be more salubrious.
The FFA Fair at Oktoberfest
It's a busy season for FFA students. Just back from the Clackamas County Fair, the students and their adviser, Trisha Smith, are preparing for Sandy's Oktoberfest.
From a quilting contest to bringing the biggest egg, the FFA Fair at Oktoberfest receives about 50 entries each year.
'It gives us an opportunity to be out in the community and see how community members are involved in agriculture in their own ways,' Smith said.
Sunday of the weekend event, the FFA holds an awards ceremony on the main stage, presenting ribbons and selling raffle tickets for the students' Traeger Grill, which supports the alumni scholarship fund.
Smith said anyone can enter, including amateurs and children.
For more information about the fair, call Smith at 503-351-5776.