Oktoberfest reminds military spouse of home
October 14, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Karina Wallace felt somewhat at home at Fort Riley's fourth annual Oktoberfest.
Wallace, a military spouse, is German, so she said she appreciated the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosting the festival Oct. 7 to 9 at Rally Point Field.
Wallace attended the event with her Family and wore a traditional German dirndl.
"I'm from Munich, so I've got to have one," she said.
Activities throughout the three-day event included the carnival, mule rides from the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, live music, traditional German food and a beer garden.
"It's nice for the kids," Wallace said. "I like that they have (Oktoberfest)."
Sgt. 1st Class Chris Rainwater, Company D, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, attended the event the afternoon of Oct. 8 with his wife and four children.
"It's great for the kids, especially now in the fall when it's getting ready to get cold," he said. "We try to get everything in that we can now before it gets too cold and they can't do stuff. They've had a blast out here. We've hit every ride."
The carnival featured 16 rides and 18 arcade skill games and had reduced rates for Fort Riley Families.
"It's a great enhancement to the Oktoberfest," said Brad Carlton, DFMWR recreation program manager. "This is the cheapest you'll ever be able to ride Toby's (Carnival)."
Carlton said the center attraction was the festival tent.
"We've got the beer garden on one end and the stage on the other end with people sitting in between eating and drinking and enjoying the music," he said. "We had a lot of great music."
The Manhattan-based band, Three of a Kind, performed cover songs from the 1960s to the 1980s Oct. 7. Mufflers and Music Battle of the Band's winner Humble Pie played Oct. 8, and Triad closed out the weekend Oct. 9.
Frank Meyer played polka music on his accordion each afternoon.
While bands weren't performing, the stage was open for karaoke.
Pfc. Michael Couto, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, ended up on stage singing multiple times.
Couto went to Oktoberfest with his wife and some friends.
"It was just something to do to get out of the house," he said. "I think it's a really good thing. Most of us in the Army work hard, so it's nice for us to have something fun to do on the weekends."
Carlton said DFMWR hosts the event each year to provide something Soldiers and Families might relate to.
"If they've ever been in Germany or to another post that does Oktoberfest, they can come here and have a sense of familiarity of what to expect, in terms of games and the good food and the carnival atmosphere," he said. "It's an opportunity for Families to get together and build camaraderie with their friends and neighbors around the community."
Rainwater said his Family had a blast and looks forward to attending next year.
"Thanks to the MWR for bringing this out here for the Families," he said. "This is awesome. I really enjoyed myself out here."