Oktoberfest: Minster, Ohio

Ah, Ohio. So much to explore in my adopted state, there is no shortage of strange and overly kitschy trips you can do here as I’m finding out. My husband and I have a habit of doing trips that seem more for people in retirement than a younger couple. I’m shocked we don’t own an RV yet. This weekend our destination was Minster for the annual Oktoberfest and 10K race. Upon driving into the area where we were staying which was Sidney, there were many bizarre and disturbing anti-abortion billboards to be seen, on top of just the usual “the rapture is coming!” signs along the freeway. Always a nice welcome don’t you think? Ah, this will be fun.

The day before the race, we got ourselves a snazzy room at a Comfort Inn which had a two-person jacuzzi tub, always awesome, and we decided to explore Sidney a tad before doing some re-con work over in Minster. Now, as we drove into the town square in Sidney, there was something odd. Something…familiar. The lamp posts, the court building with the clock, the 50s diner across from the square…

Then we realized what it was, and oh my, were we about to enter the diner and walk into this scene?!

The Spot was actually pretty cool, we got burgers and fries and a coke for $4 and they weren’t too ridiculous in size. It was funny, we noticed all the newspaper clippings and photos of George W. Bush all over the place (he came to visit and had a meal or two) and then noticed that the ketchup at every table was not Heinz, but Hunt’s. hee-hee. The locals were nice and talkative, mostly the elderly who have lived there their entire lives. We went back twice.

Sidney is also where the Air Stream is manufactured. They give factory tours, but we didn’t want to be tempted into buying one. Other than that though, the town was dead. Store fronts weren’t boarded up, but rather just had a bunch of crap in them like mountains of wicker baskets and they all looked dusty. The only other sign of life was a tattoo parlor. Despite this, we spotted at least 4 goth/emo kids wandering the streets. Goes to show they are everywhere, even in deserted small town America. Then next was Minster.

We got the Budweiser horses out of the way. Man they were huge, and got a sweet ride in…

The horses — for whatever reason — all had huge erections as we walked through. The children didn’t know what to think, and an old man told me it was my fault for exciting them. Even Ben had a huge erection…

I mean the horse ‘Ben’  — not my husband Ben. Anyways, next day was race day, and the start of the festival.

It was hot people. 90 degrees at 10am. The race started late, there was almost no shade, and my husband said he watched other runners drop like flies. One guy just ran over to a lawn with a sprinkler, one sat down on the sidewalk. As I waited at the finish line EMTs were escorting some of the first runners across the finish line. I wasn’t even racing, but just walking a few blocks caused me to sweat buckets. But not my man, he finished with no problem, no wobbles or collapsing.

That’s right sucka’s! At this point it was time to get some pretzels and some goddam beer! But, one little problem…

Okay, people, when you only have TWO DIFFERENT BEERS available for consumption — that’s not an Oktoberfest! Seriously, Bud Light and Amber Bock don’t cut it. I spent $2 for a single plastic cup each time. Sure I drank it, but it was gross, I was mad that I couldn’t even get a Beck’s. What the hell Minster? Does Budweiser just dump money at your door so you don’t allow real beer tastings? There was only one bar in the whole town, it was gross, and all they had was Bud Light and Warsteiner on tap. I have a 12 pack of Warsteiner in my fridge, so I’m not drinking it from a bar tap where there is no air-conditioning. Seriously, this was as close to a stine as I came…

So, at this point we decided to say screw it to the parade. It was hot, the beer sucked, the food was a good variety but who really wants to eat a hot meal when it is 90 degrees out? There were also bees everywhere, hundreds and hundreds of bees. We decided to slam at least two beers before heading out, so we stuck around the gazebo to see who won what age groups etc. (oh yes, the top two were from Kenya, like we didn’t know that would happen). Well, it was good we had that second beer, because guess what? Hubby won his age group!

37th overall, 1st in 40-44. Besides a medal, he won a free pair of Nike shoes! It was here that we decided to celebrate with another pretzel and another, ew, Amber Bock. This then prompted Ben to start saying over and over “respect the medal” and push it in my face. If we got pulled over on a back country road for driving under the influence, what was the plan? “I’ll shove this in the cop’s face and say, “respect the medal!”

After enjoying a jacuzzi soak back in Sidney, getting a root beer float at an A & W and recovering from heat stroke it was a ‘leave it to Beaver” marathon that lulled us to sleep. The next morning we left the rows of truck stop fast food joints and scary anti-abortion billboards, ‘respect the medal’ we yelled, as it was time to get the hell out of central Ohio!

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