It is the end of September and almost the beginning of October which only means one thing…..OKTOBERFEST! In honor of the 16-day festival, let’s take a look back to why Oktoberfest is celebrated.
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields(Theresienwiese which means Theresa’s meadow) in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest. Bet you thought there would be more to the story, huh? Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. In 1811, the tradition continued and more events were added, including the first Agricultural Show, and the event still takes place at Wiesn aka Theresienweiese.
Here are some more fun facts about the festival:
- Oktoberfest originated as a one-day commemoration, it was thereby extended to 16 days of revelry and heavy drinking.
- In 1819, the horse races had been called off, replaced by beer carts and a carnival-like atmosphere.
- Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times: Twice by cholera epidemics and once, in 1870, for the Franco-Prussian war, and in the years during and after World War One and Two.
- Cincinnati has an Oktoberfest that draws about 500,000 people to its 2 day celebration.
Don’t forget that Columbus’ own Oktoberfest is this weekend.
Today 5:00 pm- Midnight
9/28 Noon- 8:00 pm