Posted by: Kath Usitalo | September 13, 2012

How Random Pure Michigan Records Lead To Thirst For Oktoberfests

German beer pours year ’round at Dakota Inn Rathskellar, a Detroit institution since 1933 (provided photo)

From the one-thing-leads-to-another department: First I learned that the youngest stock car driver in the world is nine-year-old Braden DuBois from Indian River, Michigan. He drives his Chevrolet 4 cylinder race car at the Onaway Speedway in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Then I read that Guinness World Records confirmed that the tallest dog on the planet hangs in the Great Lakes State. Zeus, a three-year-old Great Dane, stands 7′-4″ on his hind legs. He lives with his owner, Denise Doorlag, in Otsego.

Big Gus at Da Yoopers Tourist Trap, Ishpeming

I already knew about the Guinness-verified World’s Largest Running Chainsaw, Big Gus, at the Upper Peninsula’s Da Yoopers Tourist Trap in Ishpeming, eh?

Now I find that the largest known Alphorn Ensemble in North America is based in Lower Michigan.

The Alphorngruppe
consists of 11 musicians who play the elongated horns, which are about 12′ long and originally were made of wood.

Some members of North America’s largest known Alphorn band perform in White Lake, Michigan

Today some alphorns are made with a carbon-fiber composite.

The melodious horns were originally used by shepherds and cowherds in the Alps of Switzerland; Michigan musicians perform in ensembles of various sizes at events like this weekend’s Oktoberfest at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, 1-4 p.m., Saturday, September 15, and Oktoberfest at John Ball Park the weekend of September 28.

You can see and hear the Alphorngruppe online. My new-found awareness of the musicians made me think about Oktoberfest time, so if you’re in the mood for some oom-pah-pah music, brats and beer, check out these Bavarian-themed events across the state; most activities have an admission charge:

September 14-15 and weekends through October
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller: Detroit’s legendary German dining and drinking spot, which opened in 1933 and is still family-operated,  hosts its legendary Oktoberfest with food, beverage and live German music.

September 20-23
Frankenmuth: Girls in dirndls will be swirling and lads in lederhosen leaping on the dance floor to authentic German tunes in Michigan’s year ’round “Little Bavaria.”

September 22
Curtis Oktoberfest: With music of the blues and dance party variety, Upper Peninsula beers and food that is “German inspired,” this is less a Bavarian celebration than a reason to get together in Erickson Park (not a bad thing).

September 28-29
Oktoberfest West Michigan: Continuous entertainment includes the Alphorngruppe at John Ball Park in Grand Rapids.

October 4-7
The Homestead Resort: Check out the weekend package at the Glen Arbor resort that includes lodging, breakfast buffet, Friday’s Beer Dinner and a Saturday charcuterie session on the art of smoked, salted and cured meats.

October 5-6
Newberry Oktoberfest: Live music on Friday and Saturday, an arts & crafts show, kiddie activities and the famous Lumberjack Breakfast at Tahquamenon Logging Museum on Saturday.

October 5-6
Oktoberfest in Old Town Lansing: It’s polka time in the Capital City. Enjoy live entertainment, German foods and beers.


Visitor Info Click:
Pure Michigan


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