November 1, 2021


Once upon a time . . .

. . . before the omni-presence of the internet, the invention of tv,

or even the flooding of airwaves with radio, news was NOT instant.

(Shock, Horror, Disbelief) As a result, the level of excitement caused

by the arrival of the "Coach"was unmatched. Imagine a major event

happening in your quiet, little hamlet. The coachman's trumpet would

bellow the clarion call as it approached. Work would stop. Children and

dogs would chase and scream, as if it was the ice cream man,


Carrying passengers from exotic locations, or neighboring villages,

along with mail and newspapers, the anticipated, latest old-news

had arrived! Dominating conversations at the village fountain was,

"Guess what 'The Coach' had this week." As a salute to this great

tradition, we present our version (cue the fanfare) and shout . . .

"The Epping Coach is Here"

Who knows who or what it will bring, and . . .

of course . . . don't forget to tell your friends!




An October Wedding


King Ludwig I married Princess Therese on 12 October 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates, to celebrate the royal event. The fields were named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's Meadow") in honor of the Crown Princess, and have kept that name ever since, although the locals have abbreviated the name simply to Wiesn.




Horse races were held on 18 October to honor the newlyweds. The precise origins of the festival and horse races remain a matter of controversy. However, the decision to repeat the horse races, spectacle, and celebrations in 1811 launched what is now the annual Oktoberfest tradition.



In 1811, a show was added to promote Bavarian agriculture. In 1813, the festival was canceled due to the involvement of Bavaria in the Napoleonic Wars, after which the Oktoberfest grew from year to year. The horse races were accompanied by tree climbing, bowling alleys, and swings and other attractions. In 1818, carnival booths appeared, and it was decided that Oktoberfest become an annual event.



In 1832, the date was moved some weeks later, as a Greek delegation visited. It inspired them for the Zappas Olympics which became in 1896 the modern Olympic Games. Later, the Oktoberfest was lengthened and the date pushed forward because days are longer and warmer at the end of September.



At the end of the 19th century, a re-organization took place. Organizers wanted more room for guests and musicians which resulted in the booths becoming beer halls which are still used today.




Since 1950, the Oktoberfest begins at noon on a Saturday in the second half of September with the ceremony of tapping the first keg. (I can’t think of a better way to start a party.) This is traditionally done by Munich’s Mayor at the oldest tent of the festival, the Schottenhamel tent. The Mayor gives his best to tap the keg with the fewest possible hits with a hammer, as he knows that next day’s headlines will be about how many he needed before exclaiming “O’zapft is!” (keg breached). (Kind of like throwing out the first pitch in baseball.) The beer served at the Schottenhamel tent is Spaten-Franziskaner. 

A gun salute is fired in the air to the Bavaria statue. This tradition goes back many years and is a sign for the landlords in the other tents that they too can now begin to sell their beer. (Yes, gunfire starts everyone drinking. Some things never change.)

The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and traveling funfare) with more than six million people, from around the world, attending the event every year. (But of course we haven't had VillageFest yet)   :)

The highlight of the first Sunday of the festival is another colorful festive parade through Munich and to the festival grounds. Some 9,500 people take part in the costumed parade with horse carriages and by foot, accompanied by brass orchestras and bands. They alternate in colorful sequences with sports and mountain troops, marching bands, historic costume groups, fanfare blowers and flag throwers, and has become an event that is broadcast every year on live television.


The beer served at the Oktoberfest can only come from six old traditional and Munich based breweries, Augustiner, Paulaner, Spaten-Franziskaner, Lowenbrau, Hacker-Pschorr and Hofbrau. Each of the main Oktoberfest tents serves its own brand. The tents are often run by the same Munich based families for generations, and the families often also run wirsthauses, restaurants and beer gardens throughout Munich.



Oktoberfest is often associated with beer, for example, in 2013, 7.7million liters were served, but the festival’s traditions go beyond that. While the beer tents, of course, provide drinks, they also play only traditional Bavarian music, and people wear traditional Bavarian clothing, dirndls and lederhosen.


A Collector’s Wonderland

Felt hats, beer mugs and gingerbread hearts are the most traditional Oktoberfest souvenirs. The Oktoberfest beer mug is redesigned every year and is a real collector’s item and popular souvenir. The classic design is already more than 100 years old. The printed motif is new every year – namely the respective Oktoberfest poster for that year. The mug is available at most souvenir stalls. In addition, many landlords sell their own beer mugs with Oktoberfest motifs in their tents. Gingerbread hearts and felt hats are available everywhere at the festival.


Of course, at an international beer drinking party, what could possibly be a major problem? In 2004, the queues outside the toilets became so long, that the police had to regulate access. Consequently, the number of toilets was increased by 20% in 2005. Approximately 1,800 toilets and are available today.





Many guests visit the “quiet stalls” to use their mobile phones. For this reason, there were plans in 2005 to install a Faraday cage around the toilets or to use mobile phone jammers to prevent telephoning with those devices. Jamming devices are, however, illegal in Germany, and Faraday cages made of copper would have been too expensive, so these ambitious plans were dropped, and signs were placed instead, warning toilet users not to use cellular phones in the stalls.  More recently, amplifying live music in the toilets has led to them no longer representing a quiet retreat for telephoning.





As For Villaging . . .


I see many displays with carnivals, but very few with Oktoberfest, the biggest carnival of all. What a missed opportunity for stories. A lot of brands provide help, offering buildings and lots of accessories, to enhance your carnival into a real Oktoberfest. Here's just a few examples. Use your imagination and let the celebration begin in your carnival display.













All the rides, plus parades, plus lines at the outhouses, plus, plus, plus. How many stories can you generate from a carnival? Now that you know the background, the challenge and opportunity is there. “Zum Wohl” (to your health) and . . .





Depending on your style of attack, or the size of your display,

it's time to start thinking about what you want to do this year.


Or maybe this is the year to just read about it

on The Village Collector.

Recently, the NCC (National Council of 56 Clubs)

held a fun paid zoom meeting which we attended.

Department 56 was very supportive, and also provided

door prizes and gift bags. I was fortunate to win the

Dickens Village "Wilkinson & Kidd Saddlery".

It will go great with my "Holiday Coach" and I'd

like to thank everyone involved.


Back in the day, (1949) we had the first TV in the

neighborhood. My Dad and his friends had a lot of

football parties. When Christmas season came, my

Mom would set up a little village scene around a 

little chapel on top. It seemed like every time we

changed channels, (only 3 and NO remote) we

had to move the"rabbit ears" and knock over

piece or two. I remember a little cotton hill

with skiers that seemed to be the most common

victim. Wish I had pictures of the village.

I thought some might like help keeping track of their

Christmas card mailings, so I made a list you can

check twice, for naughty or nice. Just drag to your

desktop and print as many copies as needed.



There is just SO much to explore here.

Let's take a look, shall we?


Here's just a sample of

Inspiration, Information & Fun

Sometimes I think David Spears has a secret

shopping place. He finds things everywhere!

For a look, click on the Christmas Tree.


Mickey says that Jim Peters can make

everyone's village look better. See how to see!

Click on the camera and explore the possibilities.


Want to be creative and make all things "village"?

Check out Thea Heyink's craftsmanship by

clicking on the candle flame.



Thinking about a train in your village?

Brian Vaill has the information you need

to make you a rail fan. Click on the RR Sign.

Want a little fantasy with your village?

Learn from the master. Visit Larry Treadwell's

past creations. Click on the book and be

transported to the real meaning of "village".





A few weeks ago I wrote a little about general stores

and mentioned a local one (Newfields General Store,

Newfields, New Hampshire) only a couple of miles

from here. Recently I was there, and found they had

beautiful watercolor prints of it. Had to get one.

Now it's time for the special

TVC Secret Decoder Ring.

Click on the ring for our fifth secret message.



Here's another village print I enjoy.  Hope you enjoy it also.




Another look at our three Christmas Puppies.

"Inspiration" "Information" & "Fun"

Each time you visit TVC they magically provide you with

their namesake gifts - and you might not even realize it.

Thinking back to the custom van era (60s & 70s)

made me want to update the picture that was on

our '74 Dodge van "Walter Mitty's Vantasy"


The Collectors' Club that Kathy & I belong to,

"Our 56 Club" recently had their 20th Anniversary.

Congratulations to all involved. It's always more

fun when you have a group to share it with.

More information on clubs - click HERE.

Lit Village Collectors are awesome and everywhere! The

"Village Video" page is where we prove it. What comes through

all of these selected videos, is the passion, care and effort that

went into each display. This is the "Essence of Villaging" and you

can experience it in this month's selections by simply clicking below.

The TVC "Village Videos" are a very popular source for ideas,

but there's so much more here. Explore the whole website

and you'll be rewarded with a lot of "Villaging".

Actually, well over a hundred hours worth.



And by the way . . . 

if anyone is cleaning out attics, or estates, and

come across ANY old village publications, books,

magazines or building collections, please - don't

throw them away. Consider donating them to a

good home, here at The Village Collector


Ahh, the P.S. at the end of a letter. An after thought, a few

random items to leave a smile on your face, or an idea to

ruminate on, or whatever I can find that seems fun. Ready?

















It's not over until the fat guy drinks.


OK, That's a Wrap!

C'ya Next Time.



just another example of: