Join over 6 million visitors (yes, six million) to the largest folk festival in the world. The Octoberfest dates back to 1810, to the wedding celebrations of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.
In 2008, for 16 days, the citizens of Munich and overseas visitors will flock to the Munich Fairgrounds – “Wiesen” or “Meadow,” to sample special beers and enjoy the traditional funfair.
On Saturday, 20 September 2008, before the inauguration by the Lord Mayor of Munich, is the “Grand Entry of the Octoberfest Landlords and Breweries “(first held in 1887.) The parade has beautifully decorated carriages, horse drawn carts of the breweries, waitresses on floats, accompanied by the music bands from all the beer tents.
On Sunday, 21 September is the “Munich Costume Riflemen’s Parade “(first held in 1835.) It has groups dressed in traditional costumes, music and marching bands with amateur and professional riflemen in a two hour, 7Km long parade.These processions take place in any weather. At noon the Lord Mayor taps the first cask of beer, exclaiming “O’zapit is!” – the Barrel is Tapped!
The special Octoberfest beer brewed by six Munich breweries is available in 14 beer tents with a seating capacity of over 100,000. It is served by a few thousand shapely Bavarian waitresses, in traditional costumes, carrying 22 litres at a time. The beer is the perfect beverage to wash down treats such as radishes, garnished cream cheese, sausages, grilled chicken or spicy fish on a stick. Some 80 local caterers invite you to sample traditional Bavarian food.
Outside the beer halls are dozens of fairground rides and attractions for those who are not dizzy enough already. These include the “Krinoline,” an old fashioned merry-go-round, the “Teufelsarad,” (the Devil’s Wheel), ghost trains, mazes and the “Wall of Death.” Fun for all ages.
If you intend attending this unique event, plan to arrive before noon if you want a seat in one of the beer halls. The German beer “Steins” are very heavy so you may wish to ensure those arm muscles are in good shape before you leave home!