Germanic culture and healthy fun at first ever Vegan Oktoberfest

With rooster hats and matching traditional german clothes, Greg Dudsic walked arm-in-arm with his wife April McKay Dudsic, who just beat him in the traditional chicken dance competition.

For some people, losing could really affect your mood, but not for Greg Dudsic.

As long as his wife was happy, he was happy.

On Saturday, October 4, beer loving vegans gathered in Santa Monica to experience and enjoy the Worlds first Vegan Oktoberfest.

Music, beer, food and people dressed in lederhosen was all that was needed to create the feeling of a traditional Oktoberfest were people mingled, danced and bounded with like-minded people who shared the vegan lifestyle.

“Oh my god, we are coming back next year,” Mrs. McKay Dudsic said. “We are big Oktoberfest fans and I'm the vegetarian and it's amazing that he brought me.”

“Yeah it was my idea,” her husband Mr. Dudsic added.

Mr. Dudsic, who is not vegan nor vegetarian, still enjoyed the atmosphere they managed to create right by the beach in sunny California.

This was not the first time that he had participated in an Oktoberfest and in his opinion, this vegan event was a lot better then the traditional Oktoberfest he went to in Germany.

“This is an unique California Oktoberfest. It's something different that no one else has, with the beach and everything and the sunset coming down,” he said.

Mrs. McKay Dudsic was also really impressed with how this event turned out.

“I thought it would be just one line for just one kind of beer and that would suck, and it was like all these awesome beers, like a beer festival,” McKay Dudsic said.

She had had some concerns about the bands not being suitable for an Oktoberfest but she was pleasantly surprised and thought they did a really good job.

SMC student Daryl Habarades heard about Vegan Oktoberfest from her boyfriend and decided to volunteer at the event.

“I'm on second shift so after 3 pm I guard admission. I give people their badges, check general admission, vip and press. I like it but so hot,” she said.

The idea about hosting a Vegan Oktoberfest is in her opinion genius, and with the overflowing capacity during the day, she can guarantee that there will be an event next year as well.

“I love it, it's really awesome. Free beers, vegan beers are great, I think the [food]trucks are amazing,” she said.

One of her favorites vendors were Mother trucker where she decided to try a vegan hot dog.

“Apparently if it's a German festival you should get it, thats what they told me,” Habarades said.

While many guests gathered around the stage to jump up and down to the classic song “YMCA,” Annie Uttaro sat down with some friends at a table on the other side of the festival area.

“I thought it [the event] was really good. A lot of really good vendors, the music is awesome, space is awesome, I never realized it was going to be right on the water, super cool,” Uttaro said.

Since this was the first event of its kind she did not know what to expect.

Overall she believed they managed to capture the feeling of a traditional Oktoberfest and it turned out to be better than she imagined it would be.

Something that surprised her was the amount of people who came to participate.

According to volunteer Daryl Habarades, the overflow of people even caused the admission and front desk to close for a moment around 2 pm.

That is something Uttaro thinks could be improved for the next event.

“Obviously a lot of people were interested in coming so I don't know if it's a spatial issue or something that they can do for next year so more people can attend because I know a lot of people really wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

“Then the only other thing is the beer ran out too so people are talking about that ran out early but as far as just like overall it was awesome,” Uttaro added.