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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fremont Oktoberfest

posted by on September 23 at 16:49 PM

The weather cooperated—I was worried. But it was a beautiful few nights for drinking outdoors, and everyone seemed to be having fun. And the Stranger’s special brew was a hit again this year, which is always a relief. Those of us that worked the Stranger’s tent three years ago—when we served a bizarre lemongrass beer that I would say tasted like piss but some friends that have actually tasted piss assured me that piss actually tastes better—were pretty scarred by the experience. So it’s always nice to be serving up the good stuff.

But, hey, Fremont Oktoberfest? It’s time to do away with the kids’ area. Kids can’t get into the main drinking pen where—the horror, the horror—adults are drinking beer. Because everyone knows that kids and adults drinking beer just don’t mix—except in our homes, in restaurants, at Safeco Field, Key Arena, QWest Field, on Washington State Ferries, etc., etc. The worry, I guess, is that one very tall teenager might fool a server and get his hands one very small beer. If that’s the case, perhaps the authorities could be persuaded to allow children too young to wanna have a beer—the under twelves?—into the main drinking pen with their parents.

If nothing can be done to lift the absurd ban on kids at Fremont Oktoberfest, then we gotta stop pretending that a zucchini race track a tiny “root beer garden” tucked around the corner and down the street from the main entrance somehow makes Fremont Oktoberfest a family-friendly event. Until kids are actually welcome we should drop the family-friendly pretense. It’s simply not a family-friendly event—not unless your kids enjoys watching people line up to enter a festival that their family is barred from entering.

And Direct TV: You seriously didn’t attempt to market your product by bringing a Hummer to Fremont, did you?


You did.

RSS icon Comments


Is that an H2 or H3? There is a huge difference, regardless of how obnoxious Hummers are (in general). That is, if we're talking carbon footprints, and not penis compensation.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 23, 2007 4:54 PM

The line to get in was stupidly long.

Posted by Anon | September 23, 2007 4:55 PM

Yeah, that was stupid. However, I'm surprised you didn't reference the obvious nonsense of doing an Oktoberfest in SEPTEMBER. Fremont should just have fucking Christmas in January!

Posted by Gomez | September 23, 2007 4:58 PM

@ 3

Oktoberfest always begins in late September, ending in early October. It always has, from what I know. Everywhere. Mainly because Munich is fucking cold. This isn't new. At all.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 23, 2007 5:02 PM

crystal - the real oktoberfest starts around the last 12 days in september.

also, you don't drink frou-frou little "tasting" glasses, but a mass, a voluminous litre of beer.

fremont's oktoberfest is a sham of the real thing.

additionally, if your beer is being sold in 7-11, it's no longer an effing micro-brew.

soooo glad it's over. now just to get through the red bull soap box derby next week.

i convinced about 40 people over the weekedn to skip oktoberfest and go to brouwer's instead which was packed all last night.

Posted by mike | September 23, 2007 5:19 PM

Why are you Sloggers so lazy on Sundays? Too hungover to write? Do you not get paid to write on the weekends? Some sort of religious thing? I appreciate the bit about the Hummer though. I only ask these questions because your blog is what keeps me from dying of boredom at work. But not on Sundays.

Posted by m | September 23, 2007 5:59 PM

6. I may be wrong about the Oktoberfest schedule but I'm not wrong about this: the Stranger is a M-F 9 to 5 thing, and most Slogging is done on the clock... so it figures that you won't see nearly as much when the writers are off for the weekend.

Posted by Gomez | September 23, 2007 6:15 PM

Also Dan, the Hummer... that wasn't Hummer marketing itself, but the vehicle that DirecTV uses to market its product. The vehicle doubles as a billboard and cargo transport for their festival display. So I think the beef there, if there is one, would be with DirecTV for willingly using a reviled gas guzzler as their vehicle of choice at a festival in an environmentally conscious area.

Posted by Gomez | September 23, 2007 6:18 PM

First, and WHOLE HARTEDLY I agree about working on sundays and not having the slog to keep me alive!
Second, Seattle politicians wont allow an "adult" event to happen. It's Mayor Nickles personal mission to close down any place adults do anything adult ie. strip clubs, nightclubs. The city counsel can only do a bunch of hand ringing, afraid of not being able to buy their next seat, why would you expect Octoberfest to be an adult event?
It would be refreshing if the politicians took a more active roll in the education of all these future adults and allowed them to experience the possibility of them witnessing adults doing adult things, and less concerned about the single moms and all their freakin kids that can't get a babysitter.

Posted by drone5969 | September 23, 2007 6:20 PM

No other vehicle ignites as viscerally negative response from me as a Hummer. I loath Hummers more than any other passenger vehicle on earth. Loath. There is absolutely no justifiable reason any civilian should be driving a Hummer while the ice caps melt. And in hippy dippy Seattle, in the middle of Fremont, of all places, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person that feels this way.

So, dipshits at Direct TV, that is possibly the worst choice you could make in selecting a vehicle for shlepping your product in Fremont. Count on me not to be buying Direct TV any time soon, asshats!

Posted by SDA in SEA | September 23, 2007 6:37 PM

sda @10: heartily agree. you should call them up and say so. so should everyone who saw this and wanted to puke buckets. but at least it wasn't a stretch hummer--my god, those things are so obscene i can hardly resist ramming them when i see them on the road next to me. but then i remember how much worse off my car would be than his (always a guy), and i come to my senses.

Posted by ellarosa | September 23, 2007 6:46 PM

LOL!!! LET THEM DRIVE THE HUMMERS!! We are all fucked anyway with gobal warming. Did you see the fucking traffic on I-5 on Saturday afternoon/evening? On a FUCKING SATURDAY!!

Bitch about one hummer, how about the fucking assholes who will not even think of carpooling on the weekends? Enjoy the coming disasters: We deserve all that is coming to us.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | September 23, 2007 6:50 PM

There's an Oktoberfest in Fremont?... Why?

Posted by James | September 23, 2007 6:53 PM

There's a difference between loath and loathe, friends.

Posted by snarky grammar person | September 23, 2007 6:54 PM

I was there.

Something about having a beer in an area surrounded by chainlink fence, with dirty tables and lack of good eats sort of cut into the fun.

I have an idea: Set up a picket fence, more tables, better food, and an option for whole pints and I'll see you again next year.

Posted by Elias Ross | September 23, 2007 7:35 PM

Keep up the fight, Dan, but we're not going to get anywhere until Seattle get's a real mayor. Know anyone who'd be right for the job?

Gomez @8:
Glad you were able to figure that out all by yourself, just like everyone else.

Posted by Sean | September 23, 2007 7:50 PM

The Hummer got you to advertise DirectTV, picture and everything.

Posted by .. | September 23, 2007 7:51 PM

I wish it was just up to the mayor, @16, but I think the real problem is with the State Liquor Control Board. We need to kill that prohibition era dinosaur first, but replacing the mayor is good with me too.

Posted by Brian | September 23, 2007 8:01 PM

Fuck children.

Posted by Catman | September 23, 2007 8:17 PM

My question is this: Why book some decent bands when NO ONE PAID ATTENTION?! Seriously, there were like 10 of us watching them most of the day. They should book polka & klesmer (sp?) music and do it up the faux-German way. I think more people would have gotten into it.

Posted by Dod | September 23, 2007 8:21 PM

@10 & 11

I loathe Hummers as well, although when it comes to the H3 (if you do your research), it's no more obscene than those driving SUV's and Trucks. The only reason the H3 gets a bad rep is because it's a Hummer.

I say this out of research. I don't drive, have never owned a car, and never will. I disfavor cars in general. I don't see the need for them for the average citizen. But still...I think it's funny how so many environment-nuts attack the H3 simply because it's a Hummer.

You'd be surprised how well the H3 does in comparison to the average SUV. Stop blasting it because it's another obnoxious Hummer. Especially considering movements like 'Code Pink', the H3, with a score of 12.20 Gas Emissions (tons/yr), compared to a Cadillac Escalade (13.10), well...Like I said, I just think it's funny that the average liberal Joe is dumb enough to lash out at the H3 simply because it's a 'Hummer'. There are many, many more cars out there that we're not flippin' biscuits over that are x2-4-6 times worse than a fuckin' H3.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 23, 2007 8:38 PM

from the dust to dust report

The 10 least energy efficient vehicles over their lifetime:
1. Mercedes Benz produced Maybach ($11.58 per mile)
2. Volkswagen Phaeton ($11.21 per mile)
3. Rolls-Royce (full line average: $10.66 per mile)
4. Bentley (full line average: $10.56 per mile)
5. Audi allroad Quattro ($5.59 per mile)
6. Audi A8 ($4.96 per mile)
7. Audi A6 ($4.96 per mile)
8. Lexus LS430 ($4.73 per mile)
9. Porsche Carrera GT ($4.53 per mile)
10. Acura NSX ($4.45 per mile)

Posted by whatever | September 23, 2007 9:25 PM

In October 2002 Dan Savage argued that the Iraq war would be good for kids. Oh Yes He Did! Look it up!

From todays Seattle Post intelligencer

FORT LEWIS -- Kaylee Sharp-Henderson had been silent much of the morning, and now she was avoiding, with all her 8-year-old might, directions to write down what made her feel sad. Or angry. Or scared.

Around the table, the other children in her group bent their heads over their construction paper and made furtive lists with colored markers.

When they were finished, Tina Saari, the group leader, handed each child a small tin of Play-Doh.

Kaylee wadded the clay into a ball.

"This is the Iraqi that killed my dad," she said, her voice rising as her fists pummeled the clay into a flat pancake. "I hate you, I hate you. I hate you."

The other children hammered at their own piles of clay, and in a flurry of pounding they smashed out feelings of grief only the smallest casualties of war could know.

Posted by Terry Mitchell | September 23, 2007 10:26 PM

Sean @ 16... glad you took the opportunity to take a needlessly asinine shot at me, especially when, given what he mentioned, it certainly didn't seem that Dan had noticed what you believe to be so totally obvious. Given how much flies over everyone's heads, I can't assume people know what may seem obvious.

Posted by Gomez | September 23, 2007 10:29 PM

Addendum: Dan's post may have been edited after my initial comment.

Posted by Gomez | September 23, 2007 10:51 PM

Direct TV isn't a bad product. It put cable companies on notice. If you remember, before mini-satellites dishes, cable companies offered 30 channels of their choosing and told the consumers what they'd have to pay for them - never any specials, etc. Cable companies changed their tune pronto when they got some competition.

But some channels (like Comedy Central) on Direct TV are on the eastern satellit feed. So, you have to watch The Daily Show at 8. That sucks.

Also, their marketing is all about sports. And I mean sports, sports, sports, sports, sports. There's - like - 40 sports channels. No shit. Movie channels are an afterthought to these people. Maybe that's why the Hummer? They thought beer-swilling football fans would dig it?

Posted by Bauhaus | September 23, 2007 10:56 PM

Also, I can't understand why the liquor laws in this state continue to live past their usefulness. Why are the laws still so fucking provincial?

Posted by Bauhaus | September 23, 2007 10:59 PM

Also, they have GolTV. That's worth it enough for me! Nowhere to watch the Bundesliga around here unless I get it at home...

Posted by Abby | September 23, 2007 11:10 PM

Having been to real Oktoberfests, I must say:
1) Fremont's was really expensive.
2) Fremont's was really fucking lame.


Posted by supergp | September 24, 2007 3:08 AM

Didn't go this year. 25 bucks to sip on a thimble of beer? I didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

Posted by Rotten666 | September 24, 2007 7:20 AM

I got there a bit late to try The Stranger's beer, but not too late to get far from sober on the many delightful beers proffered. I have to say, though, that all of the whining on Slog about the Taphouse's Buxom Beer Garden was unwarranted. That sad excuse for a beer garden had only one thing going for it: a place to sit down.

Posted by Greg | September 24, 2007 8:13 AM

A troika of friends who live out in semi-rural Woodinville - one of whom can't get up his driveway after a strong rain in a front-wheel drive vehicle - have an older Jeep and a Ford Escape.

The original Hummer could likely beat them in seriously bad terrain, but it's also too wide for the roads. Unless you're willing to incur the wrath of landowners and the county for knocking down trees...

Posted by JenK | September 24, 2007 9:27 AM

The last time I went to the frocktoberfest was four years ago, and while it was lame, it was not the kind of lame that threatened to split the earth with its sheer, overpowering inanity.

This year, I felt the earth tremble.

Aside from the razor-wire and kleig lighting (I was there at night), the asphalt provided a variety of comfortable sitting areas, from where I could watch bottle-blonde Bellevue girls clomp around on their heels and make frowny-pouty faces at douchebag men in their best-est going-out shirts. Fun!

And don't get me started on the fucking ENVIRONMENTAL TRAGEDY that is 10,000 tiny little plastic, Stranger-logo-encrusted, "souvenir" beer steins, piled up in a trash bin. You guys have the guts to criticize a fucking *parked* Hummer? Really??

It's time to put the frocktoberfest out of it's misery, kids.

Posted by A Non Imus | September 24, 2007 9:51 AM

Coming soon, Bowling For Hummers!

(to get this joke you have to remember when we used to do Bowling For TVs! .... my faves were the bowling balls we lit on fire before rolling them into the TV)

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 24, 2007 10:56 AM

After some thought, I've come up with a short list of improvements that could make the Fremont Oktoberfest more fun for next year.

1) Put lots of tables by the stage. People should be able to sit and listen to the music.

2) Sell liters of beer as well as the tiny 4 oz tasters. It's not really Oktoberfest if you can't carry a Mass around with you.

3) Women in dirndls. Seriously.

4) Sell glass mugs. Broken glass sucks, but so does a garbage can full of plastic.

Anybody else got suggestions?

Posted by Greg | September 24, 2007 11:41 AM

I agree with the first three, @35.

But after seeing all the litter strewn around my kid-filled neighborhood, I don't agree with suggestion 4.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 24, 2007 12:27 PM

You know why I hate this event? I went and didn't drink much (I'm cheap and the beer was served in bottle caps, rather than in bottles) but I still got into a fight with some "urban chic" yuppie putz because I stepped on his dog. Why the hell would you bring your dog to a crowded beer-drinking event anyway? If you were there, and you brought a dog, your dog deserved to be stepped on. And I'm pretty sure it could fend for itself.

Posted by is it 420 yet? | September 24, 2007 1:10 PM

How small was the dog - and was it wearing a sweater?

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 24, 2007 1:20 PM

I'd always heard good things about this event, so I surprised at how poorly laid out and soulless it was. The whole experience was basically just waiting in one line after another. Perhaps the new location is the problem.

Posted by Explorer | September 24, 2007 2:30 PM

I'd always heard good things about this event, so I was surprised at how poorly planned it was, cramming all those people and taps into a chainlinked gauntlet.

Aesthetic-wise, it felt more like a prison camp than a party. The whole experience was basically just waiting in one line after another. I'm no hippie, but for Fremont it was almost unbearably soulless. Perhaps the new location is the problem.

Posted by Explorer | September 24, 2007 2:38 PM

Look, it got even worse in just eight minutes.

Posted by Explorer | September 24, 2007 2:40 PM


- $25 to drink dixie cups of beer

- No food in beer garden

- Couldn't bring my one year old daughter in beer garden; wife had to sit outside with her while I chugged down beer

- No pints or normal size beer glasses

- No tables or areas to sit

- Felt like drinking in Guantanimo Bay; how about making it feel like a festival with big tents, beer, music and food all together in one spot. Friends, family and kids welcome.

I am out next year.

Posted by Pablo | September 24, 2007 3:32 PM


It doesn't matter how efficient the HP3 is because support of it is explicit support for all Hummers. If the the point of your post was that it was interesting that most people don't discriminate than you talked yourself out of a point. Don't discriminate, destroy all Hummers.

Posted by Mr. Gerbik | September 24, 2007 7:16 PM

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