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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oktoberfest, Beerfest, Funfest!!!

October 12, 1810 The first Oktoberfest.

So what is Oktoberfest? Historically Oktoberfest was a festival/horse race in honor of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen marriage. All of the citizens of Munich were invited to join the festivities and celebrate the union. Although this was supposed to be a one day event King Ludwig I turned it into an annual event lasting 16 days with heavy drinking and merriment.
Today Oktoberfest is a huge beer festival which celebrates German culture through music, beer and the “Chicken Dance”. The festival has become so popular that people all over the world travel to Munich every year during Oktoberfest to experience the celebration in the land of its origin. But don’t worry; this does not mean you have to go over seas to experience Oktoberfest, because chances are there is one in your town, city, or state.



Here in California we have a few locations that hold an annual Oktoberfest but Alpine Village is home of the largest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California. I have been going to Alpine Village for about six years now and although it has changed considerably in the last two, it still remains “The Event” I look forward to every September.
It runs from the second weekend in September until the weekend right before Halloween in October. I started going when I was 18 (using a fake Id or sob story of how I lost my Id) and I was hooked. The first year I went it was a small venue with maybe 200 people, mostly older and nerdy, but now it is huge boasting a 32,000 square foot tent with close to a thousand, young and trendy people in attendance a night.



What to expect:
Basically this is a German Beer festival; expect to drink a lot of German beer. They have a few to choose from but the most popular are the Weiss(light) and the Dunkel(dark) beer. Traditional Bavarian fun is brought to you by an Oom Pah Pah big band, flown in direct from Germany. The food used to be slightly more traditional when I first started going, you can still get Wurst’s and sauerkraut if you like, but the Giant pretzel reigns supreme amongst all the other German fare year after year. What I noticed this last time was that they have more carnival food to offer; popcorn, nachos etc., all food is reasonably priced.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The cost of tickets is $10.00 to get in to the tent. You can get them online at https://activ.admitoneproducts.com/reserve/advance.php?event_id=920610&instance=5 or buy them at the door! In previous years buying tickets online would have seemed ridiculous because not too many people went to Oktoberfest but today I would highly recommend going early and purchasing tickets online.
The dress code is casual but over the years wearing Lederhosen- German overalls for men and Dirndl’s- Beer maiden outfits for the women has become very popular.
This event starts at 6pm and goes until 1am Friday and Saturday. I recommend getting there at 7pm the latest, due to long lines and parking congestion. On Sundays it is more of a family event that goes from 1pm to 6pm. Parking is always a disaster, so I recommend getting dropped off and picked up. Also, Cops have become very interested in this event and pull people over left and right. Be careful.



All in all I highly recommend attending at least one Oktoberfest celebration in your life time just to experience a little bit of Bavaria and celebrate King Ludwig I and Therese.
Auf Weidersehen
Karina V.
(here is the link to my article on the website called Ellenwood)
http://www.ellenwood-ep.com/food/the-first-oktoberfest/