As the Fall season begins to take shape and September inevitably turns into October, it can only mean one thing in Denton: Oktoberfest. This year’s Oktoberfest, like years prior, occurred at Fry Street in the early hours of Saturday, Sept. 30. Runners all of ages were present to take part in the 5k event, which began at 10 AM. Part of West Hickory Street was closed to allow for beer and food vendors to set-up, and there was even a stage for live music.
The Upventur team was present at the event early to inspire the incoming runners and hand out cold-water bottles to thirsty participants. There was around 250 people ready to run in the name of Denton County friends of the family, and even a few dogs as well. Before the run, there were several people training, but by and large, the majority of participants were running for fun. Once the 5k began, through sections of UNT’s campus, it was not long before participants were done, and they sought the cold refreshing taste of an Oktoberfest Beer.
"I'm doing this just for fun because 100 percent of the proceeds go to charity, and so, that's why I do it. Because all these bars do it for the community,” said 5k runner Rachel Svadlenka. “I used to support the beer drinking, but now I want to support the other aspects. I used to drink a beer [after the race] but I quit recently, like in the last couple of months, so I’ll just give my beer to somebody else."
The bars on Fry Street were decked out in German-inspired Oktoberfest decorations, and many of the bartenders wore traditional outfits like the lederhosen, for men or the dirndl, for women. In addition, famous breweries like Shiner and Franconia were present to delight patrons with their seasonal Oktoberfest brews. Councilwoman Sara Bagheri tapped the Franconia keg for all to see, although it did take a few taps of the hammer to get the beer flowing. The event’s highlight was the costume contest where a woman and her dog, dressed with an adorable lederhosen, took home the prize. There was much to celebrate, especially because of the proceeds going to charity, and one local company was out there looking for people to donate a bit of plasma for a good cause.
"We are a brick and mortar store off of Loop 288, and we do plasma collections; we turn it into pharmaceutical drugs mostly towards people with autoimmune deficiencies,” said Biolife employee Warren Shirley. “When you donate plasma it's so easy on your body you can donate twice a week. You only need a 24-hour break in between the two. All plasma is, is water and a splash of protein and that protein is what we really value, but 90 percent of it is water. That's why, so long as you're drinking water and staying healthy, it's easy-peasy."
This little event is growing every year, according to previous eventgoers, with many people wearing last year’s Oktoberfest shirt. The run had 250 participants, and many of them stuck around to hang out and do some day-drinking to relax the muscles. In a small town like Denton, it is events like these that merge local culture with the outdoors. We proudly sponsored a portion of the event to help out the victims of domestic abuse through the non-profit Denton County Friends of the Family. We had a lot of fun and made lots of great connections with other Dentonites. Look out for the Upventur diamond at upcoming events, and don’t forget to say hi.