5 Top Cities to Celebrate Oktoberfest
MUNICH—“O’zapft is.” With those words and a 12-gun salute, Munich’s Lord Mayor, Dieter Reiter, will tap the first keg this Saturday and open the 182nd Oktoberfest. The event celebrates Bavarian culture and Bavarian beer and lasts over two weeks.
Oktoberfest has its origins with the celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. To take advantage of better weather, the festival now starts in mid-September.
Festivities in Munich take place at the Theresienwiese (Therese meadow, named for King Ludwig’s bride), locally referred to as the “Wiesn.” It is easily accessible by public transportation, with a station for the U-4 and U-5 directly at the Wiesn or via the S-Bahn to the Donnersbergerbrücke station.
The concept of Oktoberfest, however, has been copied successfully by other cities across the globe and, while the one in Munich is still the original and by far the best and most authentic, you might find one much closer to home.
The world’s second largest Oktoberfest takes place in Canada and starts October 9. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is centered around the Concordia Club, which seats 4,000 and starts off with an official keg tapping at Kitchener City Hall, followed by a free pancake breakfast in Waterloo. It’s also known for its “Miss Oktoberfest” contest as well as its mascots, Onkel Hans and Tante Frieda.