Prost! To the World’s Largest Fair—Oktoberfest
It's a bier lover's paradise: 16 days of suds & revelry in the heart of Munich. Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair, welcoming over 5 million visitors annually, not only for German beer, but also for Bavarian food, music, dancing, rides and other festivities. Despite its name, this 202-year old festival actually kicks off in late September (when weather is more favorable), and lasts through the first weekend in October.
Over 7 Million Liters Served!
"O' zapft is!" ("It's tapped!" in the Austro-Bavarian language.) This is the phrase, proclaimed by the mayor of Munich, that opens Oktoberfest. Fair-goers can choose from over 14 Bavarian brews, each served in its own brewery tent, with indoor and outdoor seating for thousands. The average price for a Maß (one liter of Oktoberfest beer) is 9.35 euros or around $12. Oktoberfest beer has higher alcohol and sugar content, so it's not uncommon for revelers to overindulge.
Beer is not the only draw to this party. Plenty of hearty German fare abounds— from pretzels (brezeln) with spicy cheese butter (obatzda) to roast pork (schweinebraten) and chicken (hendl). Your sweet tooth won't be neglected with an array of desserts from apple strudel (apfelstrudel) to a variety of rich cakes (kuchen). Beer and food tents are almost always busy, but festival attendees can make table reservations ahead of time to ensure they get a seat; there are also outdoor biergartens.
Beyond refreshments, Oktoberfest offers plenty of other entertainment. Bavarians kick off the party with a parade through Munich, followed by the ceremonial "first keg-tapping." Beer and food tents feature live music—everything from rock and pop to folk music, marches and polkas, getting louder and more energetic later in the day. Guests can also stroll the 103-acre Theresienwiese grounds and admire traditional costumes, ride the ferris wheel or roller coaster, play carnival games or shop for authentic souvenirs.
Can't get to Germany in the next few days? We're bringing Oktoberfest to you at The Expo Center this weekend!
Join us for a taste of all things Deutsche Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22 from 5 p.m.–Midnight. Like the real deal, our celebration features authentic food, beer, costumes, contests and music, plus local headliners Rebel Grace and The Sweet Tarts.
Will you be attending (in lederhosen or a dirndl dress)? Let us know in the comments below!