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Diversity: The World Through An 18 Year Old's Eyes ey, everyone! I'm Allie. I'm 18, and I do a lot of travelling for my age. I have a house in America, Germany, and I study in England. I see this as a great opportunity, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and life lessons with my fellow nomads. :

I went WHERE in Austria?

AUSTRIA | Saturday, 18 August 2012 | Views [1850] | Comments [1]

Tomahawk Western and American Lifestyle Festival. Dern tootin', I did it. Forget about the Mirabell Gardens and Schloss Schönbrunn. Tomahawk is where all home-sick American expats want to be in mid-August during their Austrian vacation. There's plenty of BBQ, beer and country music to take you back to the good old saloon days.

Tomahawk was introduced to us by a couple of our friends. Me and my parents were thrilled about the Johnny Cash cover band (I like to pride myself for being a Johnny fan since the age of 15) and the next thing we knew, we were knee deep in knives, choppers and Memphis music.

I can't say that I'm ashamed of going. I'm not even depressed with their view of "American Lifestyle". Because, in the end, it was truly a fun experience. Located on the grounds of the tiny Schloss Mamling, Tomahawk was certainly a sight to behold.

Before I get into any ridiculous experiences, I'll give you a little layout of the land. Let's get started, shall we?


Paintball section. I've actually seen more paint balling arenas in Europe than I ever did in America. Needless to say, I have a fascination with the "sport" and don't blame them for including it in the festival. I didn't get a chance to view the colourful wounds inside, but I could certainly hear the death-threats and pleas from the other side of the field.

Teepes and archery center. I think that caption pretty much says it all.

Oregon Trail Campground/Civil War Tents. There weren't too many period costumes, but the people who did dress up went all out. I saw a couple of Confederate soldiers, an Abraham Lincoln doppelganger, numerous Scarlet O'Haras and a stern-browed Judge to make you shiver in your Wranglers.

There was a lonely Union soldier wandering about the grounds. Apparently he got lost.

Music Tent. This is where the bands performed and where the real magic happened. You looked skyward to the beautiful decoration of Confederate flags (please note my sarcasm). Waitresses bustled about in their mini jean-shorts, ready to serve you all night. Most of our evening was spent under the big, white canvas.

The booths. The booths ranged from mini donuts and soft serve ice cream (good luck finding THAT in Austria or Germany!) to Native American jewellery and knitted sweaters. It was basically like your typical county fair.

In Montana.

The Western Sports Area. FINALLY! Some good old American football! No more soccer mixups! We want head-on tackles, huge shoulder pads and plenty of sweaty men!

Oh... wait. Why are there blow up bubbles in the middle of a kiddie pool?* People are inside of the bubbles. Is that supposed to be fun? Wait, where is everything else? Is that all there is?

Cue heart-break.

Little Indian Area. Complete with miniature ponies, a rock, and a couple of logs. Have fun, kids!

The Car show. The "car show" was a bunch of cars coming onto a small stage and revving their engines as loud as they possibly could. I couldn't breathe for ten minutes until all of the smoke had dissipated into the distance. I thought Europeans were supposed to be Earth friendly?

Well, who can blame em. If you've got a 4x4 in Austria, you're DEFINITELY going to want to show it off.

The Saloon. Empty room with a couple of bar tables and ZZTop music. Not exactly a saloon, but when someone blasts La Grange, you can't be too harsh.

The Toilets. There were only three stalls for each gender and they were all kept surprisingly clean. The only issue was that the doors were open all night and you could see the men in the urinals a little bit too closely. I get that Americans are friendly, but we're not that friendly. So, have a little bit of American curtesy and shut the door.


The Highlights

For me, the highlight of the evening was the Johnny Cash cover band known as The Cashback Five (see above video- that was at a different festival). They didn't try to sound exactly like June and Johnny, but their accents were strong and the music was certainly toe-tapping. Hearing some timeless American folk music was certainly worth the 30 minute drive.

Another highlight was the people. I don't mean this a negative way, but it wasn't exactly the money-falling-out-of-my-pockets sort of attendees. In fact, I much preferred the tattooed, giggly, loud mouthed Austrians to what I normally get on the streets of Salzburg. The rednecks of Austria aren't that different from home. I was genuinely honoured by their deep passion for our culture.

My mom and I were heading back to the car when an elderly Austrian man stopped us in our tracks. The conversation that followed went something like this:

"Are you from Tennessee?"

"No, Ohio! But we have a house in Germany."

"Ah! Ohio! Of course. You enjoyed yourself tonight?"

"The music was very good. I'm surprised everyone liked it so much."

"Yes! Yes, the music. You know, the language is just... wow."

I never thought of the twangy accents of the south to be wow, but something made my heart flutter when he uttered those words. The Germans and Austrians don't always welcome the outsiders with open arms (Austrians are better than Germans, I've come to find). In the end, people are always people and you just need to spend time with those who respect you.

A perfect example would be my little Austrian friend.

Another highlight for me was the lead singer of the Memphis Four. But we won't get into that, because although I'm an 18 year old girl, I am not going to gush like a typical teenager. I will be a professional and mature writer. 

Even if he was gorgeous.

My only issue with the Memphis Four was that there were three of them...

Moving on.

The Negatives

There was nothing about the actual festival that put me off. Once I learned to laugh at most of it, everything was a breeze. There was a lot of smoke in the tent, but I should have known that would happen going into it.

I've always been fascinated with Native American history, so more of that would have been enjoyable. I can't even seem to place my finger on the exact time period they were going for. There was too much of the Civil War, modern Texas, and Oregon Trail for me to properly choose. 

The festival seems to be an annual event. I'm not suggesting you drop everything next August and fly over to Austria just for this laid-back surprise. I'm just saying that if you happen to be in the neighborhood and you're looking for some late night smiles, this might want to be at the top of your list.

If you would like to see more photos of my Tomahawk adventure, please visit my homepage. :) Thank you!

Tags: adventure, american festival, austria, country music, crazy, germany, native american, random, tomahawk, weird

 

Comments

1

Very funny story. You make it sound like a fun event for expats!

  Suzanne Aug 26, 2012 5:51 PM

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