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. Parker, Colorado hosts a traditional Oktoberfest each year. It's the most traditional Oktoberfest in Colorado.
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. 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 days in Kitchener, Ontario. It attracts over 1,000,000 visitors annually. While its most popular 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 previously known as formerly named Berlin. A significant portion of the population of Kitchener and surrounding areas identify themselves as being of German heritage, and many still speak German. A common phrase at the celebrations is Gemütlichkeit, German for congeniality, or warm friendliness.
Oktoberfest celebrations are also held annually in Sherbrooke, Quebec at the beginning of October. The one night event is held by Sherbrooke's University Engineering Students' Association. It draws approximately 5,000 revellers each year.
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.
Other major celebrations across the United States include those at:
- Cullman, Alabama;
- Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona
- Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, Arizona
- The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California
- Big Bear City, California
- Campbell, California
- Oakland, California
- Sacramento, California
- San Francisco, California
- Alpine Village in Torrance, California
- San Diego, California
- Montrose, California
- Denver, Colorado
- The Colorado Council of Arts, Science and Culture hosts Parker Oktoberfest, perhaps in Parker, Colorado
- the Delaware Sängerbund in Newark, Delaware
- Wickham Park (Melbourne, Florida)
- Miami, Florida
- the Bavarian-themed town of Helen, Georgia
- Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois, a German celebration, starting in 2013, expecting many beer lovers
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Jasper, Indiana
- Seymour, Indiana
- Amana, Iowa
- Mandeville, Louisiana
- Frankenmuth, Michigan (The first Oktoberfest outside Munich that the Parliament and the City of Munich sanctioned);
- New Ulm, Minnesota (In 2002 the United States Census Bureau released a report showing 65.85% of population with German ancestry, the greatest proportion among cities in the United States of America).
- Hermann, Missouri
- Germania Park in Rockaway Township, New Jersey
- Irondequoit, New York
- Hickory, North Carolina
- the Ohio State Fair grounds and the Germania Singing and Sport Society in Columbus, Ohio
- Berea, Ohio
- Minster, Ohio
- Wilmington, Ohio
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Mt. Angel, Oregon;
- Sertoma Field in Walhalla, South Carolina
- East Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania
- Newport, Rhode Island
- Kingsport, Tennessee
- Addison, Texas
- Boerne, Texas
- Fredericksburg, Texas
- Galveston, Texas
- Muenster, Texas (their version is called "Germanfest" and is held in April)
- New Braunfels, Texas (called Wurstfest)
- Slaton, Texas ("Slaton Saint Joseph Sausage Festival," held on the third Sunday of October)
- Shiner, Texas
- at least 11 other Texas towns
- Snowbird, Utah, a resort in the mountains above Salt Lake City
- neighborhood of Lago Mar, Virginia Beach, Virginia;
- neighborhood of Fremont, Seattle, Washington
- Leavenworth, Washington
- Appleton, Wisconsin
- La Crosse, Wisconsin, called Oktoberfest – La Crosse, Wisconsin
- New Glarus, Wisconsin
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- many others
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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- "Palestinian-style Oktoberfest goes down smooth By Adam Pines". The Raw Story. 2006-09-17. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Phoenix Oktoberfest 2011 - Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures Inc". Phoenixoktoberfest.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- ":: Oktoberfest". Frankenmuthfestivals.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Kingsport Oktoberfest". Kingsport Oktoberfest. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "German-Texans," Texas Almanac 1996-1997
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