By HANS MADSEN
The annual Oktoberfest celebration in Oleson Park proved to be the best of two things for Ron Ayala, of Fort Dodge.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kaylene Klein, 6, shows off her dancing moves Saturday afternoon at the annual Oktoberfest celebration at Oleson Park.
He got to watch the Hawkeyes on a giant TV while sipping on some German beer among family, friends and about two dozen other people attired in traditional game-day gold.
"It doesn't get any better," he said.
Ayala would also - once the game was over - see if he had two left feet, two right feet or one of each.
"We might even try a little polka," he said.
While the game wasn't going too well for his team at the time, he didn't let it dampen his enthusiasm.
"I'm hoping they win," he said. "They're not looking real well right now."
At the other end of the tent the only guest in the room - who was without a doubt unhappy to be there - was being carved into servings by Iowa Central Community College culinary arts students.
Alex Davis, of Orient, was expertly using a knife.
"This is something we enjoy," Davis said. "The main reason I cook is to make people happy."
He said they began cooking the whole hog at around 5 a.m. and that even though it's an American pig, it was cooked in a traditional German way.
"Everything is cooked in beer," Davis said.
While the exact brand might be a trade secret, he did verify that, yes, it's a German import.
For many who attend the Oktoberfest celebration, it's a chance to get out on the dance floor and polka.
Kaylene Klein, 6, is a veteran already.
She's been dancing "three years and now it's going to be four" because "you get to do all kinds of things."
The difference in height between the adults and Klein didn't bother her.
For Dianna Amandus, of Omaha, the three-hour drive let her relive fond polka memories.
"I grew up in the Bohemia Hall," Amandus said.
She got out and hit the dance floor. "I did a polka and a waltz. I haven't done it for a long time."
Jim Reed, who organizes the event, had three words for the day: "Happy, happy, happy," he said. "How could one not be happy with polka music."
Of course, it's not just about the polka. This year the country rock group Mustang Sally played in the evening.
"We wanted to tweak the program but be true to the event," Reed said.
Another tweak was the TVs.
"It's better to invite it in than die by it," Reed said."It's a cool little wrinkle in the program."
He did sample the food - including the sauerbraten - and he gave it a two lederhosen rating.
"It's sehr gut."