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One of the most fun parts of my job here at TRF is serving as the head judge for the daily costume contest. I have so much fun looking at what imaginative, creative patrons have come up with to wear at the Festival. I have built many costumes of my own, so I appreciate what good costume construction requires. Opening weekend, Oktoberfest, has become a treat as patrons don traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl to celebrate the Germanic region of Europe.


Strictly speaking, these garments, as we see them now, really evolved a little later than the sixteenth century, and originate in Bavaria. Germanic garb in the 16th century is quite different (see photo). It’s characterized by an abundance of fabric decorated by myriad slashes, and is quite challenging to recreate. If a patron shows up to the costume contest dressed in German Renaissance attire, believe me, I will be blown away!


At left, you see the beautiful Madame Nina, whom many of you know at the Pirate’s Cove, wearing a Cranach style dress in her days as Amelia Von Cleeves.

Regardless of whether you come in Landsknecht slashing and feathers or embroidered Lederhosen, I hope you’ll come parade your garb at the Arena each day at 2:00. You might win prizes, you can easily meet new friends, and you can definitely have a great time.

If you’re interested in the history of German costuming, here are a couple of links. I found these blogs and websites really helpful!

If you’re a pinner, you might enjoy our Oktoberfest Pinterest board!

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