Recently, members of the class of 2018 were able to get those lederhosen and dirndls out of the closet to head out to enjoy a much beloved Fairfield tradition inspired by the German celebration of Oktoberfest. Students were able to hang out at The Seagrape Cafe from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 to commemorate the event that happens yearly in Munich, Germany.
Being a 21 and over only event, organized by the Beach Residents Organization, there was an open bar, but in addition to unlimited beer, pretzels and traditional German bratwurst were available.
Senior Alexia Ferreira, who attended, said, “I think [the event] just promotes community and a lot of bonding.” She pointed out that at the event, she saw many people whom she normally would not see and noted that, “to see everybody in one space is really nice and a good tribute to senior year.”
Another student at the event, Emily Bittner ‘18, felt as though the event went very well and as a whole, was a great experience to start off the year for the senior class. In speaking about the comparison between this experience and being abroad, Bittner said that, “You could never compare it to Oktoberfest or Springfest, but this is a great event in America to have.”
Assistant Director of Residence Life Pejay Lucky and overseer for Oktoberfest spoke about changes to the event, saying, “I understand that [BRO] met with the police and The Seagrape to basically have more organized fun, whereas in the past, they had Oktoberfest on Lantern Point, but it was shut down for two years in a row because the homeowners down there found it to be a disturbance.”
Lucky believed the benefits of the event being held at the the Grape entailed “that they don’t disturb anyone and also, it becomes a legal event, where, at the Seagrape, you have to be 21 to get in, which stops underage drinking.”
Bittner noted that she was very impressed with the way things were run, noting that the “BRO board and everything is amazing; they knew exactly what they were doing.”
Additionally, Lucky pointed out that only seniors were able to attend because “these types of events can really only be for the senior class due to past years of there being large crowds in the street and disturbing local residents. We needed to make this event a controlled event which is why we rented out the Seagrape and hosted it there. This is the only way to be able to have these events in the future because we need to ensure the safety of the students and we need to respect the town of Fairfield and the local residents.”
Co-President of BRO Gregory Tchertchian ‘18 expressed that “this year the event was run flawlessly and we wouldn’t change a thing [for future events].”
Despite not necessarily being comparable to the experience of going abroad for the actual Oktoberfest, it was still a great way for seniors to experience a different culture.
In regards to the event being similar to going abroad, Lauren Jachimczyk ‘18 brought up that, “I didn’t go abroad but this event is a great way for me to live it vicariously and experience it.” The event certainly helped students to gain a sense of what German culture is like while being able to stay close to campus.
Senior Fernando Arabia commented that, “it brings everyone closer together and everyone becomes a family, basically.” As a whole, the consensus was that this year’s Oktoberfest was a well-organized success in bringing the senior class together for a great party and cultural experience.