Thirsty for a good time? An Oktoberfest-shaped slice of Bavaria is coming to the farm on Saturday, October 15th from 10 am-2 pm. We’ll have beer, brats, and vendors. But if you’re like me, you may only have a slender understanding of this centuries-old tradition. Not to worry, here’s a quick and easy guide to all that Oktoberfest has to offer.
History of Oktoberfest:
The Oktoberfest tradition was kicked off in 1810 by the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12th of that year. It was suggested that this wedding be celebrated with a little extra pomp and circumstance. Thus, the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate with a horse race and other festivities. While the horserace component was more or less left in the past, the jubilant fervor dedicated to eating and drinking sure wasn’t. It was actually the horserace component that was so popular that it was decided to be held again the next year, and in 1819 the event was made into an annual celebration. It’s been officially held in Munich every year since, only canceled 24 different years due to war or illness outbreaks.
There are on average roughly 6-6.5 million visitors to Munich’s Oktoberfest every year, with many many more celebrating worldwide, from Argentina to Palestine to the Philippines! The official Bavarian-based Oktoberfest only allows beer that conforms to the Reinheitsgebot (a series of regulations limiting the ingredients allowed in beer in Germany) and must be brewed within the city limits of Munich. The 6 breweries that maintain those regulations today are:
- Staatliches Hofbräu-München
“Oktoberfest Beer” is also a registered trademark by the Club of Munich Brewers. The more you know!
Outside of Germany, the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations are in Kitchener, Ontario with roughly 700,000 visitors, Blumenau, Brazil (700,000 visitors), Cincinnati, Ohio (500,000 visitors), and Denver, Colorado (450,000 visitors). Many of these festivals were established by German ex-pats looking to celebrate with a hint of home. There is also a Beer and Oktoberfest Museum in Munich, which is located in an old townhouse from the year 1327 (what?!).
While reading a bit more on the official and unofficial Oktoberfest celebrations held worldwide, I began to feel a little claustrophobic with each mention of the crowd sizes. Not to worry though, Woodside Farms will be hosting our very own version of this time-honored celebration right here at The Barn. With Bavarian-style fare provided by Woodhouse Catering and beer, compliments of Chickahominy Falls, clinking steins with your neighbor will never sound so good! Don’t forget to pre-purchase your food tickets by October 5th. This meal ticket includes a lunch of brats, pretzels, beverages, and beer.