Well.... I was having way too much fun... at the Hyde Park Oktober fest sponsered by the University of Chicago on 53rd street...from Dorchester Avenue to Nichols Park on Saturday, October 9, 2010. There were live bands, great food and people everywhere! People of all ages and backgrounds were dancing in the street to live music!
Couples were stepping and waltzing, while little ones were trying to breakdance!
There was even a booth with dancers demonstrating various Chicago slides (Urban line dancing) with instructional DVDs for sale.
Although, here's where I do admit that one of my dance compulsions...which is "that given the right music, I do have a tendency to encourage anyone and everyone to join a conga line in a heartbeat".... and since the music was just too funky and infectious... I did encourage some U of C students to join me as I learned the groove of a new Chicago slide - (named the Herb Kent slide) .... and the results were so much fun!! We could have danced all night!
I came to the Oktoberfest expecting a German festival with brats and kegs of beer. I was looking for a few Bavarian sisters rocking maybe some golden braids, some dirndl dresses and some guys dressed in old school Lederhosen...gear. NOT! What I found was one the things that I love best about Hyde Park. Diversity...merges...and mixes of cultural artforms that flow like a colorful patchwork quilt of music, food, arts & crafts and people.
What I expected to see at the Oktoberfest. This photo is actually from another Ocktoberfest!
The line up of entertainment included German dancers, D'Lustigen Holzhacker Baum, the contemporary music of Koku Gonza, a neo-soul group, Dayna Lynn, LV Banks and his Swinging Blues band, Bernard Crump/ Mecca Band,the Reggae group, Akasha and the R& B Band, Full Circle.
I never found the brats but I did find that the beer was flowing. There was a huge variety of foods including funnel cakes, fruit salads, fried fish, jerk chicken, snow-balls and more as food vendors from the Hyde Park area served up an array of any and everything that one might want.
So, just because I didn't find a brat, but that didn't mean they weren't there!
This Ocktoberfest was the funkiest fest that I've ever been to... in the fall.
Instead of a folksy Germanic beer festival, it was more like an Afrocentric-Germanic funkfest going on! It had some Rock music... a little bit of Reggae... some Soul music...some R&B and finally a rendition of Ike and Tina Turner's Proud Mary from the band, Full Circle that turned the crowd out!
Overall... the Hyde Park Oktoberfest was interesting and vibrant!
Everyone seemed laid back... Hyde Park cool... while enjoying the mixture of foods, cultures and family..all juxtaposed against a beautiful warm fall day.
All photos and video by Aki Antonia c 2010