How to party Oktoberfest style
Sponsored by The Celt Pub and Grill
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A few hundred people are expected to flock to the The Celt Pub and Grill on Friday in honor of a long-standing German tradition.
“Oktoberfest” is a celebration that originated in Munich, Germany, in 1810. The annual festivity draws more than 6 million people to the area, with even more people modeling the gathering around the world.
The Celt’s festivities will span two days and start at 5 p.m. on Friday. The pub plans to fill up its taps with traditional German Oktoberfest beers, along with some made by local microbrews.
“There will be plenty of beer, but besides that, the food is an important aspect of the festivities,” said Liza McGeachin, owner of The Celt. “People are welcome to dress up in the lederhosen (traditional European breeches) or dirndls (dresses) if they’d like.”
But no matter where you decide to celebrate, you will find some common denominators at an Oktoberfest celebration: lively music, mouthwatering food and huge pints of beer.
However, even if you don’t have any plans to check out the festivities this year, you still might be interested in brushing up on some of its rich German history. And even if you’ve celebrated the event for years, you may have just thought it was a good excuse to have a great time with some friends.
Here’s what makes Oktoberfest such a unique and fun celebration:
- It’s not actually held in October, so why the name? Back when the celebration started it took place during the first week of October in Germany, but as the years have gone by the starting date was changed to September for the better fall weather, and now stretches into a 16 day event. The change encouraged a greater attendance.
- Oktoberfest has been a hit for over 200 years. The first celebration happened in 1810 in honor of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s wedding to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royal festivity included a public feast and horse races, but alcohol wasn’t part of the celebration until 1819 when the races were replaced by beer vendors.
- You can actually buy vomit-proof sneakers for the event. People tend to get sick when they consume so much beer, which inspired Adidas to recently unveil its special, limited edition sneaker in honor of the festivities.
- Safety is always important when so many people gather together to drink. A Red Cross tent is always staged at the main event in Munich. In 2011, at least 7,551 people needed medical attention and police were called 2,031 times.
- People don’t just attend the event for the beer. While that’s a big draw, you’ll be sure to leave with a full stomach. The Munich event takes roughly half a million roast chickens, 120,000 sausages, 50,000 pork knuckles and who knows how many gigantic soft pretzels. If that’s not enough, you’ll find potato dumplings and pancakes, sauerkraut, and apple strudel. You’ll also leave with a giant gingerbread heart souvenir decorated with phrases of love and worn as an edible necklaces.
Don’t worry. If you can’t make it to Munich this year, Oktoberfest doppelgangers pop up all over the world. Cincinnati is one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States, with more than 500,000 in attendance. The party is held in the historic Fountain Square district in Downtown Cincinnati and includes live German music on seven stages and more than 30 vendors.
But if you can’t make it to Germany or Cincinnati this year, don’t fret! Eastern Idaho has several events going on to commemorate this special event. So make sure to call your favorite pub or restaurant, to see if they’re celebrating. There’s sure to be something to fit your style.
“We are a Celtic restaurant, but we are enamored by other European cultures,” McGeachin said. “Without cultures, life would be so boring. Oktoberfest is beer and food centric, so naturally it fits well in a pub.”