To some, Oktoberfest is German for “massive consumption of beer,” and while that’s part of the festival, it’s not the whole story. Beer, after all, is more than a drink for the residents of Munich, it’s a way of life, and integrated into the cultural fabric of the city. But prodigious beer drinking hasn’t always been the focus of the festival. To locals, it’s called “die Wiesn,” after the name of the Theresienwiese Fairgrounds. When founded in 1810, Oktoberfest celebrated the marriage of the Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe Hildburghausen with a horse race. The race featured prominently in the festivities until 1960, at which point the festival had become world famous and steeped in other traditions. It’s changed over the 200-year history, most significantly with the addition of bratwurst, electricity and glass beer steins.
The Munich Oktoberfest (Munich Beerfest) is one of the most famous events and the world’s largest fair. Oktoberfest 2017 will be no exception. With some six million people attending every year, it is an important part of Bavarian culture. Today the Munich Beerfest traditionally takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October with Oktoberfest 2017 starting on Saturday, 17th September until Tuesday the 3rd of October.
Beer, food and music are the champions of the event. Bavarian brass party bands provide the soundtrack that gets the festival tent occupants dancing on the beer-soaked tables. Drinking high-powered beer chased with greasy sausages doesn’t always mix with high velocity rides, but that’s exactly the idea here. The Funfair is exhilarating, with an equal mix of high tech and low tech rides. If you really want to push your stomach to the edge, try the Tagadà or one of the other nausea-inducing spinning, whirling, flipping rides.