This Week’s Theme, Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest began as a wedding reception and has turned into one of the biggest and most well known festivals in the world. On Oct. 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to share in the festivities. Horse races in the presence of the royal family closed the event. The horse races were repeated in subsequent years and gave rise to Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest starts on the third weekend in September and ends on the first Sunday of October. The largest celebration is in Munich, but several other German cities celebrate with similar fall festivals. Stuttgart celebrates Cannstatter Volksfest, Berlin celebrates Spreewiesn and Hamburg celebrates Wandsbeker festival. They all put their own twist on the celebration, but beer, music and good food are central to the festivities. Many of the festivals also offer carnival rides, games and markets. Many other European cities join in the celebration including Genoa, Madrid, London, Paris, Gdansk and Stockholm.
We lived in Germany for several years and did not get to the big celebration in Munich but enjoyed the Cannstatter Volksfest. The fest chicken cooked on a rotisserie and the ever-popular currywurst were our favorite pairings with the local beer.
In the United States, Oktoberfest is celebrated in many cities, especially those with German heritage. Notable American celebrations are held Torrance, CA, Cincinnati, OH, Denver, CO, La Crosse, WI, Helen, GA and Tulsa, OK. In New Orleans, our local German-American club hosts two weekends of traditional food, music and beer. If your town has a German-American club you can bet they are celebrating Oktoberfest. PJS
Let us know your favorite place to celebrate Oktoberfest and share your favorite pictures of your Oktoberfest moments with us in the comments below.
Tomorrow: The Wines of Germany