I don't know if you've also noticed a lot more Oktoberfest schtick in Toronto this year but to me, you gotta make a weekend of it in Kitchener-Waterloo, where the folks are really truly German. I muse that the German culture is fascinatingly outdoorsy and sport-oriented. I hearken to an issue of Toronto's own Worn fashion journal that had a wicked piece on the woollen coat (picture Captain Von Trapp) that goes with the lederhosen for the dudes; all of that is an outfit for hiking and being comfy in the elements. Things are all decorated with stags and eagles and flowers. When I think about it, the awesome, awesome folk dances are super-physical, too: slapping, flipping, whirling, kicking, bull-whipping, more slapping. Folk sport seems to really be a thing, and contests of skill and strength are clearly a hallmark of folksy festivals like this one.
Anyway, I feel like we're *really* doing Oktoberfest because we're playing the games. You can do pumpkin trebuchets or softball or barrel-rolling, but the two archery contests are definitely our thing AND the Bogenschuetzenfest competition is the longest-running cultural activity at this festival. 45 years, I think they said. Squinting into the sun, going from dewy, soaked grass and chill to sunburnt afternoon, slurping apple cider in a camping chair surrounded by turned leaves, and totally torn by socializing and the intense contest, I'm pretty sure this is the feeling that really nails Oktoberfest for me.