FAQ’s on Oktoberfest!

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At the bottom, I will be listing a few places where you can celebrate Oktoberfest in Vancouver, BC or other places in Western Canada and the US. If you would like to be included in this list, please let me know. Another thing is you can join my business directory on www.europeannews.ca for only $25 a year! https://www.europeannews.ca

1. What was the origin of Oktoberfest?

Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s fields”) in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.

Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.

2. What was new in 1811?

In 1811 an added feature to the horse races was the first Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse races, which were the oldest and – at one time – the most popular event of the festival are no longer held today. But the Agricultural Show is still held every three years during the Oktoberfest on the southern part of the festival grounds.

In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse. The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.

The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.

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3. What is the Festzelt tradition?

This rustic beer tent, one of the two big tents on the site of the historic Oktoberfest (“Oide Wiesn”), really deserves its name. Visitors are invited to celebrate like in the old days, with beer being served in mugs made of stone. Traditional bavarian folklore, music and dance, is mandatory here. People who come to this beer tent usually enjoy a more laid-back and calm version of Oktoberfest. Up to 5.000 people can sit inside, while the outside area holds 3.000 seats.

4. What is the Augustiner Festhalle?

For a cosy and traditional experience, head for the Augustiner Festhalle. Its particularly authentic atmosphere is partly thanks to the fact that the beer served here comes from Munich’s oldest brewery and is still tapped from classic wooden kegs. The regional delicacies and the friendly waiters and waitresses also make the Augustiner tent one of the most rustic of them all. 

5. What is the Herzkasperlzelt?

The smaller one of the two main beer tents on the “Oide Wiesn”, the Herzkasperl Festzelts holds around 1.500 seats on the inside. It focuses on traditional fun atmosphere with comedians, music, dancing and more bavarian entertainment. Of course, an Oktoberfest visit is never complete without food and beer. And the Herzkasperl Festzelt delivers both, serving  typical bavarian dishes and Pschorr-brewed beer.

Western Canadian Oktoberfest Choices:

  1. https://www.vacbc.ca/event/oktoberfest-dasorginal-2019/ – Vancouver
  2. https://www.facebook.com/events/2260235607558329/ – PNE
  3. https://www.facebook.com/events/prestige-lakeside-hotel/kutenei-oktoberfest-2019/796786440707564/ – Nelson
  4. https://braintrustcanada.com/events/oktoberfest/ – Kelowna
  5. https://www.facebook.com/events/austrian-canadian-club/calgary-oktoberfest-2019-at-the-austrian-canadian-club/359263708031960/ – Calgary
  6. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/oktoberfest-2019-tickets-65871526509 – Edmonton
  7. https://gibbonswhistler.com/festivals-events/whistler-village-beer-festival/ – Whistler
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Wolfgang can answer your questions regarding Oktoberfest!
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