The Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October. It is attended by six million people each year and has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants.
Around the world
The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is mostly regarded as being in Canada, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (750,000- 1,000,000 visitors), followed by Blumenau, Brazil with (700,000+), Cincinnati, Ohio, United States (500,000+ visitors) and the Denver Oktoberfest Denver, Colorado, United States (450,000+ visitors). However, the largest one mostly depend on specific year's numbers and varies with sources. Currently Oktoberfest is spreading to new geographical locations; starting in September 2007, Montreal began hosting its own Oktoberfest.
The National Beer Festival (Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza) is Argentina's version of the German Oktoberfest. It has taken place every October since 1963 in Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba. The party emerged by the hand of the first German immigrants. This festival attracts thousands of tourists for two consecutive weekends.
In Australia, the universities are notorious in their celebrations of Oktoberfest every year, and as students graduate and move on, this has rolled over into pubs and restaurants in the university areas. UNSW fucked up badly. After the 2012 Oktoberfest Party the university council banned the celebration of the festival on university campus grounds.
The Harmonie German Club, Canberra, holds an Oktoberfest over a three-day period every year in October. The festival is currently in its 45th year, and attracts a large number of visitors from Canberra and surrounding regions.
In Brazil, several southern cities, populated by German people in the 19th and 20th centuries, have their own Oktoberfest. The largest one, that is also regarded by some as the "largest Oktoberfest from the Americas" is celebrated annually since 1984, at Blumenau. There are 18 days of music, dance and food, commemorating Brazilian ancestors that came from Germany. The first edition had 102,000 people (more than 30% of the own city population) attending to the 10 days of the festival at the time, with attendance peaking at 1992, with more than one million visitors. Other festivals are also being held in Santa Cruz do Sul and Igrejinha, Rio Grande do Sul and Rolândia, Paraná.
In Canada there is an annual nine-day celebration spread over 18 Festhallen in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. It attracts over 1,000,000 visitors annually. While its best-known draws are the beer-based celebrations, other cultural and entertainment attractions also fill the week. The most well-known is the parade held on Thanksgiving Day; as the only major parade on Canadian Thanksgiving, it is televised nationally. (Coincidentally, the closing day of the Bavarian Oktoberfest also falls on the German equivalent of Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest.)
The twin cities and surrounding area have a long history of German roots; Kitchener was formerly named Berlin. A large portion of the population identify themselves as being of German heritage, and many still speak German as well. A common phrase at the celebrations is Gemütlichkeit, German for congeniality, or warm friendliness. This word is even programmed into the bus route displays, so during Oktoberfest it will show the route and Gemütlichkeit, or Willkommen.
Another celebration of Oktoberfest is held in Sherbrooke, Quebec annually, at the beginning of October. The one night event is held by Sherbrooke's University engineering students' association. It gathers around 5,000 people.
Munich - The Original
The Oktoberfest Hannover is a fair which takes place every year at the end of September/beginning of October in Hanover, Germany. It usually lasts 17 days and features 140 rides and inns, three large beer tents seating more than a thousand people each, and numerous stands, beer gardens and small beer tents offering food and refreshments. The program consists of a Dirndl-Competition, three Fireworks, two Family-Days, a Ladies Day, a hand lantern parade for kids and many performances of local costume groups. You can get a special festival-beer from the local brewery "Brauerei Herrenhausen", the "Lüttje Lage" (an alcoholic speciality of Hannover) and many food from Lower Saxony and Bavaria. With around one million visitors each year, it is the second-largest Oktoberfest in Germany.
German-Americans are the largest self-reported ancestral group in the United States. Correspondingly[vague], there are hundreds of large and small Oktoberfest celebrations held annually throughout the country, the largest being Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Known for its large German immigrant population, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its historic Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania Deutsch) population are well known to have many Oktoberfest celebrations during the months of September and October. These celebrations became increasingly popular among the general Commonwealth population in the later half of the 20th century with the rise of microbreweries, and with the opening of authentic German brew houses such as Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh, PA.
There are other major celebrations across the United States such as at the Ohio State Fairgrounds and the Germania Singing and Sport Society in Columbus, Ohio, Sertoma Field in Walhalla, South Carolina, the Delaware Sängerbund in Newark, Delaware; The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California; Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona; Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, Arizona; Big Bear City, California; Campbell, California; Oakland, California; Sacramento, California;San Francisco, California; Alpine Village in Torrance, California; Denver, Colorado; Melbourne, Florida, Miami, Florida, Mandeville, Louisiana, the Bavarian-themed town of Helen, Georgia; San Diego, California; Cullman, Alabama; Frankenmuth, Michigan (The first Oktoberfest outside of Munich to be sanctioned by the Parliament and the City of Munich); Hermann, Missouri; Germania Park in Rockaway Township, New Jersey; Irondequoit, New York; Hickory, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Amana, Iowa; Mt. Angel, Oregon; East Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Newport, Rhode Island; Addison, Texas; Boerne, Texas; Fredericksburg, Texas; Galveston, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jasper, Indiana; Seymour, Indiana; Kingsport, Tennessee; Muenster, Texas (their version is called "Germanfest" and is held in April); New Braunfels, Texas (called Wurstfest), Slaton, Texas (called "Slaton St. Joseph's Sausage Festival" and is held on the third Sunday of October); and Shiner, Texas as well as at least 11 Texas towns beyond those mentioned. Also the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, WA, Leavenworth, Washington; The Lago Mar neighborhood in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Appleton, Wisconsin; La Crosse, Wisconsin - Oktoberfest - La Crosse, Wisconsin, New Glarus, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, among many others. Berea, Ohio, Minster, Ohio, and Wilmington, Ohio also have Oktoberfests celebrations. There is an annual Oktoberfest that takes place at Snowbird, Utah, a resort in the mountains above Salt Lake City. Also there is an Oktoberfest in Montrose, California and New Ulm, Minnesota (In 2002 the U.S. Census Bureau released a report showing New Ulm has 65.85% of population with German ancestry, more per capita than any other city in the U.S). Just starting on September 13, 2013 at the Hofbrauhaus Chicago Rosemont, Illinois a German celebration expected to have many beer lovers.
Oktoberfest celebrations are co-organized annually by the German Business Association in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In 2012, Oktoberfest Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City celebrated its 20th year with a seven day event.
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- "German-Texans," Texas Almanac 1996-1997
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