A trip to Tulsa’s Oktoberfest will leave no doubt that Oklahomans love German culture.
For one weekend a year, everyone parties like Bavarians, throwing down pitchers of beer, swallowing feet of bratwurst and dancing like a chicken to goofy polka music.
“Americans love Oktoberfest. It’s a million-dollar business and a lot of that money goes to the city,” said Claus Greiner, former chairman of the board of the event.
Germans in Lawton
Lawton also has a successful Oktoberfest, run by the Lawton German American Club, with German bands, dancing, food, beer and an attendance of between 8,000 to 12,000 over two days.
There’s are a number of Germans living around Lawton, often spouses of American soldiers from Fort Sill who were once stationed in Germany.
The Lawton German American Club gives them the opportunity to practice their native tongue and keep up to date with German culture.
German Polka Music
President of the Lawton German American Club, Karl Waldbauer, plays with his band, The Polka Kings, at its monthly meetings.
The Polka Kings originally were set up to provide German music for Lawton’s first Oktoberfest in 1971. They’ve played together ever since and now have a repertoire of more than 250 German songs.
“People like polka because it’s happy music,” Austrian-born Karl said. “When we’re on stage and I look down at the crowd, everyone is dancing or tapping their feet.”
German Restaurants in Oklahoma
If you can’t wait until Oktoberfest to taste your next wiener schnitzel, there are plenty of German restaurants in Oklahoma, including the popular Rheingarten Restaurant in Grove and Margaret’s German Restaurant in Tulsa.
The Royal Bavarian Restaurant and Brewery in Moore offers the Oktoberfest experience year ’round, with German food made from scratch.
A third of the restaurant’s ingredients are imported from Germany, including red cabbage, mustard, sauerkraut and pretzels.
The restaurant also brews its own full-bodied German beers. Kings Wheat, Kings Gold and King’s Oktoberfest are all brewed according to the German purity laws which allow just four ingredients: hops, malt, yeast and water.
German Oklahoma Know It
Cultural Awareness Oklahoma Know It