Zur wiesn! A history…
Volksfest, or “Oktoberfest” is actually right around the corner! It’s a 16-18 day long “folk festival”, according to the Bavarian traditionalists and their official reference at oktoberfest.de. A “Volksfest” is a traveling beer fair, and I know we all kinda know what Oktoberfest is, but let’s just let this marinate for a minute: a traveling beer fair… Now take away the context of “Oktoberfest”, and just think about this whimsical phrase, and imagine bards and wenches skipping about, fat and happy aaaaaaand hammered.
If I close my eyes tight and imagine myself in something like heaven… you know, it looks a lot like what I think would be going on at a traveling beer fair! In the real world though, the only place to be for the biggest beer fair on the planet, it Munich, Germany. From the officials:
“On Saturday, September 16th, the Schottenhamel tent is the place to be, if you want to catch the official opening ceremonies. At noon, the Mayor of Munich will have the honor of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the barrel has been tapped, all visitors will then be allowed to quench their thirst. It pays to arrive early in order to experience the festivities up close and personal and it’s quite common for visitors to come around 9 am to secure good seats. The festival will last until October 3rd.”
Well there you have it. The Mayor of Munich?! Golly, to be the Mayor of Munich, tapping barrels and relishing in the hoppy whimsy of all that sweet traditional Bavarianism.
Side note, according to oktoberfest.de: “Die Wiesn” is “what the locals in Munich fondly refer to Oktoberfest as, because of its location, Theresienwiese, which was named after Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.”
Secondary side note, according to oktoberfest.de : “the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.”
What do all the Munich goings-on have to do with us? Here? Well, head to Checkers Old Munchen right now, and see for yourself!