Celebrating 38 consecutive years, the Bavarian party took over the North Shore Recreation Centre to bring a bit of Munich to the people of Tatamagouche through music, food and Bavarian clothing.
“It is really the biggest Oktoberfest east of Kitchener, Ontario,” said Claire Muller Saturday. She’s co-founder of the North Shore Bavarian Society, which hosts Oktoberfest.
“By 10:30 this morning, people were lined right around the parking lot waiting to get in. We put tickets on sale in early July, and the tickets for today’s event always sell out within the first week.”
From ticket sales alone, the event saw around 3,000 people join in on the Oktoberfest celebration, a staggering jump from the original 85 they got during their first event 38 years ago.
The celebration is held each year in Tatamagouche, and draws about 1,000 people a day between its three events, which includes not only locals, but travellers from different provinces and even continents.
“Funny enough, my husband’s sister travelled down from Germany this week,” said Muller.
“She scheduled her trip around this event, so she could see what we are doing. Lots of people do that it seems. Just last night, I was sitting with a couple from Tennessee who travelled up here to attend the event.”
Madeleine LeBreux, Muller’s sister, also travelled to party Munich-style, making the trip to Tatamagouche from Montreal
“For me, this is a very big event,” she said.
“This is my first time at such an event, and it has been fantastic. To see how the people are dancing in circles, everybody just constantly dancing and moving, it was beautiful. I think I would come again, maybe. The trip is very long.”
Muller and her husband Dieter started holding the celebration in 1979 after being less than impressed with other Oktoberfest events around the province.
Having been to authentic Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich before, Muller used her experiences to bring a proper Bavarian party to Tatamagouche, which has been extremely popular to this day.
“I think it is so successful because our aim is not about money,” she said.
“It has and is always about fun. It is about allowing people to pretend they are in Germany for an afternoon. Most other organizations or companies always go into these things with money on the mind. If you do that, you forget what its all about – fun.”