Oktoberfest keeps students engaged by experiencing German culture


C. Sears

Student, Charlie Connally, wears her traditional German dirndl to Oktoberfest.

Caroline Sears and Lily K.

On Tuesday, October 15, Fossil Ridge High School hosted its annual Oktoberfest. Organized by the members of the school’s German Club, this event encourages German students to get involved with their learning on a deeper level. 

C. Sears

Students work hard to cook traditional foods for attendees to try at Oktoberfest.

A tradition out of Munich, food, music, and art are just a few cultural components shown at Oktoberfest. Learning about the culture and experiencing it firsthand keeps students interested in the language.

At the festival, the hallways were bursting with students eager to attend. German teacher Amy Healy, who has been in charge of Oktoberfest for five years now,  was admitting students and taking their orders for foods, including currywurst, bratwurst, potatoes, chocolate truffles, Gummy bears, Apfelschorle (or bubbly apple juice), and spaetzle which a student explained to be a traditional handmade noodle dish that is often covered in cheese. 

Playing cornhole and tabletop games, German students from all grade levels, parents, and unaffiliated students were able to bond and experience this Munich tradition. The students were very involved, learning to cook traditional meals themselves and helping to decorate. One volunteer even mentioned that Oktoberfest was one of their favorite Fossil traditions. 

C. Sears
“I honestly love the atmosphere of just Oktoberfest in general. It’s really nice. It’s always fun” stated student Caeleigh Sebring

Charlie Connally, a German student, stated “… it’s a really, really fun opportunity to have German traditional food and meet and greet other German students at Fossil.” She added that “It’s just a really great thing and you get to try German food that I don’t usually get to have beyond pretzels and bratwursts.” 

Frau Healy created this to represent the German community at Fossil, whatever level they are learning.  Each year, the festival draws more students to take part in the culture. She works to impart her experience and her love of the culture and invites everyone to the next Oktoberfest. 

Debunking a major myth of Oktoberfest, Frau Healy mentioned, “It’s just as foreign to people in northern Germany as it is to Americans…. it is a Munich tradition.” Healy recalls her own visits to an Oktoberfest in the past: “Festival grounds where there are lots of rides and lots of carnival stuff and it’s very family-oriented… lots of people go with their families to Oktoberfest.”

C. Sears

Eve Sutherland stated “It’s a class to look forward to. The culture is something to immerse yourself in” about German class.

For students like Connally, who showed up decked out in complete traditional German clothing, Oktoberfest is a great way to engage in and connect with her own German heritage. When asked about her fashion selection, Connally gave a heartwarming explanation stating, “…this is actually one of my grandmother’s Dirndls. From Germany. Which is where she was born. This is authentic. I love it.”

German students took advantage of the cultural celebration, and every dollar went to support the language classes at Fossil. By exploring culture, students continue to learn the language with even more aufregung (excitement).