So I headed to Oktoberfest today with my neighbor Bernie. I should have known Greg was going to bail on me when he said he would meet me there at 13:30. The wether was perfect not too hot, not too cold, no rain and not too many people- just yet that is… We got there and walked around before meeting the Munich International Ski Club with our Box section Hacker Tent. The tents are amazing, huge and hold 9000 people. It is crazy they take 2 months to build, 3 weeks of festivities and then another 2 months to take apart. Over 8 million people will come to Munich and I think it is 6 million masses of beer and 3 million chickens are consumed in the 3 weeks of Oktoberfest. We joined 80 of our closest ski buddies for Mass biers, 1/2 chickens, dancing and singing. Greg finally shows up to make an appearance for 15 minutes and then said he was going on a quick walk and never came back. Bernie joined me and we enjoyed the next 4 hours. After feeling quite drunk we headed home so we can be productive at work tomorrow and not be too drunk.
Let me give you a little history lesson on Oktoberfest- Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12 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 were renamed Theresienwiese ("Theres’a Fields") to honor the Crown Princess, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to "Wiesn". 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 subsequest years gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. 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 choices of amusements were sparse. In 1818, the first carousel and two swings were set up. Vistitors 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 the 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 offered was already increasing rapidly in the 1870’s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develope in Germany. Enough history… Here are a few pictures from the day.