FORT HOOD, Texas - More than 1,000 soldiers and family members gathered for the annual Oktoberfest extravaganza sponsored by Fort Hood’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the Phantom Warrior Center parking lot, Friday.
Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, performed the tapping of the keg at 5 p.m., officially kicking off Oktoberfest.
“Oktoberfest gives soldiers the opportunity to come to a location where they can enjoy themselves and celebrate the Army’s history in Europe,” Campbell said. “You can see all the family-friendly activities we have here. It’s not just about drinking. It’s a great opportunity to give soldiers and their families a chance to let their hair down.”
The open-to-the-public event housed many activities for children to enjoy, including pumpkin-and face-painting stations, arts and crafts, bounce houses, inflatable slides and a competition for the most festive costume during the occasion.
Oktoberfest also offered Fort Hood soldiers and their spouses the chance to relax with a cold beverage of their choice, as well as the opportunity to compete in several competitions.
Competitions included a beer stein race, yodeling contest and a strong man competition where participants signed up to hold a ceramic stein filled with two liters of water in front of them for as long as possible.
There was also a live performance by the German band Das Ist Lustig, as well as authentic German food, drinks, vendors and displays to highlight the rich German history of Oktoberfest.
Staff Sgt. Jorge Sierra, 15th Military Intelligence Battalion, attended the event with wife Lisa and daughter Julyssa, and said his family had a great time partaking in the festivities.
“We came from Germany last year,” Sierra explained. “We’re having a great time participating in the unique opportunities that Central Texas has to offer, but we’ve been missing Germany. There are many things in Germany that we cannot get here, and this festival really gave us a taste of what we’ve been missing.”