Oktoberfest is an outdoor fall festival that started in Munich in 1810 as a wedding celebration for King Ludwig and his bride, Therese Saxe-Hilburghhauen. In the last two hundred years, it has evolved and spread spread across the world.

Oktoberfest Munich  (History)

Everything You Need To Know

Oktoberfest History

Oktoberfest celebrations started with the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghhausen in Munich on October 12, 1810. All of the town’s people were invited to celebrate the royal couple’s wedding. The celebration took place on October 18th, near the gates of the city, in the Theresienwiese fields named after the crown princess, Therese. Later, the field’s name became just Wies’n or Weisn. Lastly, the annual Oktoberfest tradition launched when the celebration was repeated the following year in 1811.

Live at Oktoberfest 

Munich, Germany

In the early days, horse racing was a big part of the celebration. Eventually, Bavarian costumes, beer tents, food, fun-fairs, music plus waltz and polka dancing were added to the festivities.  Also, in recent decades the fun-fair has added carousels, roller coasters, Ferris Wheels, flea circus, parades and a riflemen’s procession plus orchestras and bands. The horse races were finally discontinued in the 1960’s.

Festival Beer And Food

How did beer become such an important part of the celebration? Beer was popular in Munich because the drinking water was bad. Also, beer mugs were made of stone or metal until 1892 when they were replace with glass mugs. Also, it is said that waiters must have the ability to carry 10 mugs at a time.

Traditional Bavarian food at festivals include roasted meats like Hendl (grilled whole chicken), roasted ox tail, grilled pork knuckles, steamed white veal sausage with mustard, pretzels, dumplings, cabbage and a variety of sweets. Currently, six million people annually attend the Munich festival making it the largest folk festival in the world.

Oktoberfest 2017 


How Has Oktoberfest Survived Over Two Hundred Years?

Oktoberfest festivals have been happening for over two hundred years now. However, the Munich festival was canceled during a cholera outbreak in 1854. Moreover, the festival was canceled during wartime in 1866, 1870, 1914 through 1918 and 1939 to 1945.


Wiesn Live Munich

Festivals Worldwide

Oktoberfest celebrations occur between the third week in September through the first Sunday in October. In addition, many countries celebrate Oktoberfest including: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United States, Vietnam, Venezuela, Zambia and other countries.

In addition, contemporary celebrations consist of beer tents with breweries offering many varieties of beers.  Also, most festivals feature Bavarian cuisine, polka and Viennese waltz dancing to bands or orchestras. Also, at most festivals people dress up in Bavarian style costumes including the famous Lederhosen leather shorts for men and traditional clothing for women.

Top Ten Best Songs

Music Guide 2017

Oktoberfest in the United States

Oktoberfest is very popular in the U.S. with Cincinnati, Ohio hosting the largest celebration nationally called Zinzinnati. In addition, many of the mid-western states host celebrations, as well as, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and numerous other states. Additionally, National festivals cater to Americans love for their lager filled steins, bratwursts, oompah pah music, dancing, exhibitions and fun-fairs with carousels, Ferris wheels and more. Furthermore, in many cities in the U.S., German-American clubs participate with their own sponsored events that include beer, German food and polka dancing!

San Diego, California

San Diegans love outdoor festivals because America’s Finest City has perfect weather this time of year. Generally, in late September and early October, San Diego starts to cool off a bit but still plenty of warm sunshine to enjoy outdoor activities. Also, San Diego is home to a plethora of brew houses and San Diegans are crazy about their beer. Moreover, San Diego has 152 brew houses as of September 14, 2017. In addition, we have our own German American Society. Finally, check out all the festivals in San Diego!

A Sample of Festivals in San Diego 2017

  • El Cajon  Festival, Friday to Sunday, September 29-October 8, 2017. The German American Societies of San Diego puts on the El Cajon festival over two weekends. They bring in a band from Bavaria, Guggenbach-Buam to perform at the event.
  • La Mesa Festival, September 29-October 1, 2017. This is La Mesa’s 41st annual three day festival with Bavarian beer and German style cuisine and music.
  • Hotel Del Coronado Festival 2017, September 29th -October 1st, 11:30 AM. The Del’s celebration includes Bavarian style beer garden  at the Sun Deck and German style pretzels.
  • Encinitas Festival, October 1, 2017.
  • Ocean Beach Oktoberfest, October 7, 2017. A beach two day festival event with food, beer, music and games!
  • Carlsbad  Festival, October 7, 2017. This festival features live music, German food, and other fun activities plus a traditional German dinner for $12.
  • Ramona FestivalOctober 4th, 1-10 PM. This festival includes beer and wine garden, car show, pumpkins and lots of kids activities.
  • Bierfest: A Beer Tasting ,October 9th, 6-8 PM, $30 ($20 members). The San Diego Museum of Man opens after hours offering German style brewery beers, pretzels and fun at the museum.
  • Parktoberfest in South Park, October 11th, 11 AM to 10 PM. This festival features live music, beer garden, kids carnival and more.
  • All San Diego Oktoberfest Festivals 2017

Polka Dancers