If you missed out on East Falls’ Oktoberfest, no worries — Caity MacLeod’s candid, personal pics bring this party to life! The first Castle on Tap slid us back in time, showcased a future brewery, & brought us a big step closer public river access in East Falls.

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Congratulations, East Falls! Castle on Tap far exceeded EFDC’s fundraising projections, pulling in $3,000 towards a boat launch. “That’ll pay for engineer studies needed for the next stage of the design,” Gina Snyder explained, and help keep the ball moving on this project.

Financially, Castle on Tap was a huge success. As a party — we had a blast but can’t wait to tweak the plan for next year!

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First — we can fit more people here, easily double. This amazing, historic house was designed for entertaining, with lots of sitting nooks and conversation areas. Plus, there’s a whole beer garden outside under tents. And that wrap-around porch! And rustic chairs here & there on the lawn. Our 150 cap seemed way too low for all this space.

Second: LIVE MUSIC! East Falls is full of awesome musicians — and helpful ones, too, who volunteer their talents for events like this. We need to get these people PAID, though, and feature a proper band. Cause with all this beer & space to move around, music would really get the place jumping.

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Nothing wrong with this year’s “Spotify” vibe, especially with all the kids enjoying the historic slide.* (Adults too!) Everyone got a kick outta this throwback thriller, although at least one party-goer was a little confused by a family-friendly Oktoberfest. “Is this a kid party?” he joked to me on the porch.

But other parents seemed delighted that they could have a beer with friends while their kids tired themselves out climbing up & sliding down all afternoon. If you feel strongly either way, let us know in the comments or fill out our quick survey form so we can add your insights to next year’s planning.

Everyone agreed on the food & the location, though. Rieker’s authentic German buffet nailed it, we blew through tons of food. And guests really seemed to be taking their time, checking out all of Ringstetten’s historic corners.

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“It’s so cool,” caretaker Joey Hoepp told us, “Usually the only people who come here are Undine Barge Club members, so this place is old hat to them. I love seeing everyone’s reactions, what they notice, where they go.”

BTW: Joey and his husband Paul Garberson occupy Ringstetten’s top half-story –the old locker room– with their 12-year-old yellow lab Hudson (pictured later in this post). They host a monthly dinner for Undine club members, as well as various events throughout the year. They live here & tend the property.

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And they were a HUGE help in keeping our party going, from setting us up in the kitchen, to tending to the buffet, and “donating” a mustard from their fridge. They also gave us their spreadsheets from Undine’s Oktoberfest — which we totally cribbed (thanks again, guys!).

While we’re giving props: BIG HAND TO MIKE MURPHY (pictured with Jon Kennedy, below), who will tell you he didn’t do anything but don’t believe him.

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He made this event happen: his license, his insurance, his crew, his beer — he even charmed Wissahickon Brewing Company’s Tim Gill into taking a Saturday away from his brewery on Schoolhouse to debut their Tripel Citrus at Castle on Tap.

Which, by the way, was a huge hit. Totally enjoyed mine — to me, it tasted really crisp and a little spicy/fruity but not sweet. Very balanced. Hardly noticed that it was 8.5% ABV, which can be dangerous for a lightweight like me.

No matter, guests killed a keg and a half of it at Castle on Tap, and there might still be a little left on draft at Murphy’s, if you want to taste it.

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You’ll have another chance to try WBC’s Tripel Citrus, as well as at least two other beers this Saturday at Fall Fest 2016, including Raisin’ Kane (a spiced winter ale), and possibly Kelpius Kave (a Belgian strong ale) &/or Devil’s Pool (an Imperial IPA). Yay! Another pop-up beer garden by the beautiful river in East Falls!

It’s another family-friendly event, too, with Fire Department demos, a bounce house, and lots of other fun stuff for everyone.  Last year’s recap says it all: what a fantastic way to enjoy beautiful Fall color on our waterfront.

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Pets, too! East Falls’ 2nd Annual Dog Costume Parade & Contest begins at 11:30 am at Inn Yard Park. Prizes include gifts from local pet businesses including Little White Dog Daycare, Liberty Vet Clinic, Opportunity Barks Behavior and Training, and Time Out for Pets, who are also judges and sponsors. A big crowd favorite and a fun day out for Fido.

Did somebody say dogs?

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eastfallslocal-hudsonThanks again to Fallser photographer Caity MacLeod — another Mike Murphy connection — who spent the whole party capturing some really awesome moments.

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“It was fun, I really enjoy taking pictures of people at events like this,” she told us, and folks really did seem relaxed around her. (She even managed to take my picture, which is nearly impossible.)

Her website features fashion, wedding, and even fantasy portraiture. With color, drama, whimsy, nostalgia… it’s eye candy, for sure. She’s building her portfolio as she works towards a commercial photography degree, while taking gigs when she has time. AND NOW SHE’S TAKING OVER EFL’S INSTAGRAM!

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This month we bid our intrepid IGer Katherine Wzorek farewell (she’s relocated to Center City) and have handed the reins over to Caity — the change of perspective is already apparent. Caity’s lens crackles with a newcomer’s fascination & curiosity, as well as an experienced eye for tickling her audience. We hope you enjoy her neighborhood images and playful local commentary.

Check out more of Caity’s work on capturedbycaity.com!
And view all her Castle on Tap pics on Facebook.

And look out for more pop-up beer gardens in East Falls, coming soon from Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon. Next up: Neighborhood Christmas Caroling. Details to follow around Thanksgiving.

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A very special East Falls Local THANK YOU to the best volunteers we could’ve imagined: self-starters who not only knew what to do, but also kindly told us what to do, and thus kept all the wheels in motion.

Thank you to Guirae and Kevin from Metro Presbyterian Church for helping transport the slide sections. Lots of old world charm in that slide — but lots of old world weight too (the thing’s solid, people).

Thanks to Dan Ostrov for designing and constructing the slide’s supports — along with Eric Weiss — together they brought the 100+ year old slide to life again.

Big help from George Little, a member of Redeemer with vivid memories of the slide in his youth, who applied coats of wax until the last minute to make sure the kids got the fastest ride possible. And Natty Leach made sure there were no accidents, helping some really excited youngsters at the top of the ladder.

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Thanks also to Tim Reardon and his girlfriend Katie for keeping everything humming on the grill and in the kitchen. Parties die quickly if the food runs out, especially when hungry Fallsers hit the buffet.

Brian Wishart, Roxanne Gioia, and Drew Montemayor were everywhere before and during the party. Most importantly they stayed after the fun was over, working in the dark to make sure everything was packed away. Big hand for these tireless, all-weather volunteers.

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*Editor’s Note: Thanks, too, to Fisk resident James Tooill, master taster at LaColombe Coffee Roasters. He hooked us up with a car-full of burlap coffee sacks for the slide. Using really unscientific methods (kids’ scream volume), we determined that burlap is far faster than carpet remnants. FUN FACT — LaColombe also donates to the wooden slide at Smith Memorial Playground. (If you haven’t been to Smith, you absolutely must stop everything and visit it now.)

So much good energy and such a fun day. Can’t wait for next year — until then, we’ll be fine-tuning our plan. Please share your thoughts for 2017 in the comments below, shoot us an email, or fill out our handy feedback form, thanks! 

And… SEE YOU AT FALL FEST!