Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Oktoberfest

I partook in Oktoberfest this weekend. The parade, the bars, the Fest grounds. Everything. And I had a spectacular time.

I didn't hear anything about any flipped cars until reading the La Crosse Tribune this morning and my reaction was nothing more than simply a chuckle.

Sure, I feel bad for the car owners and would be irate if it were mine, but it's not surprising that things like this happen. What is surprising is that people are this upset about it, or at least those quoted in the Tribune article or who commented online.

Here's the fact: Alcohol runs this town. And there's not necessarily anything wrong with that.

Sure, La Crosse has two fine hospitals, three great post-secondary educational institutions and countless fine small businesses.

But it's also a town full of people who have spent a significant portion of their lives here and have embraced the Fest tradition. Kornfest, Irishfest, Applefest, you-name-it Fest. You can tell yourself that they are predicated on "tradition" and "heritage" all you want, but that's just because it's more fun to drink a beer while you're wearing lederhosen.

So the quote that "We no longer have Oktoberfest. We have Drunkfest" simply amuses me. Where have you been all these years?

And I'm not giving the college kids a free pass on this. But having been in the middle of that scene not-too-long ago, in my experience, it's not the out-of-towners that are causing the ruckus. It's our own college kids. The ones that, for better or worse, make this city what it is.

I think the police actually do a remarkable job. Given their allotted resources, their motto has to be something along the lines of "don't try to stop them, only hope to contain them" and for the most part, I think they do.

As is with almost every scenario, it's a few bad eggs that are making things look worse. And when the city balloons to over double it's original size, that's bound to happen.

99% of you enjoy Oktoberfest within the realms of what is considered reasonable. Let's enjoy that fact for the rest of this glorious week.


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