December 12, 2017

“Cheers” to Oktoberfest


It’s that time of year again to “Prost” your favorite German brew at the annual celebration of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. This year the event takes place from September 16th thru October 3rd. Germans and foreigners alike will celebrate all out in what is known as the world’s largest fair and beer festival.



Oktoberfest began in October of 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig wed Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildurghausen. Afterward, they held a huge party near Munich which was so popular that it took place the following year and started an annual celebration that has become world famous. Other than interruptions caused by war and disease, Oktoberfest has been celebrated every year since 1811.  Held on a 77 acre field which is known as die Theresienwiese (named for Princess Therese), it’s a party not to be missed.  Many other cities around the world hold their own versions of Oktoberfest, but none come close to the German original.



Oktoberfest is a festival for all ages that includes thrill rides, merry-go-rounds, carnival booths, food, and live music.  Of course the most popular attraction is the 14 famous beer tents sponsored by some of the best Bavarian brewers in the area.  The tents are actually large beer halls that are reconstructed each year and are very different in design and appearance.  Be warned that they fill up very quickly, especially on the weekend, so try to arrive early.



I attended in 2010 for the festival’s 200th anniversary.  It was a great time and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go.  Oktoberfest is also a superb place to people watch.  With any festival of that size, you’re sure to see some craziness, but add in the huge amount of beer and the opportunities triple.  By the time night falls, there are plenty of people who have been around all day and it’s not hard to get some pretty interesting moments captured on film or video, so don’t forget your camera.  You can also take some great pictures from the rides as some of them offer a birds-eye view of the entire festival.



I highly recommend going to Oktoberfest.  It’s one of those events that you should experience at least once in your lifetime.  Plus, with its location being that of Munich Germany, its surroundings are beautiful.  Just remember to arrive early so you’ll have a chance to visit all the tents and be sure to try some of the traditional cuisine, particularly the Schweinshaxe. There’s nothing like a party to bring together complete strangers and nothing like German culture to embed lasting memories.



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