Regardless of if you are of German descent or not, everyone loves Oktoberfest! Every fall people get the chance to enjoy German culture, beer, and food. Despite the popularity of Oktoberfest, very few people are familiar with the origin of this beloved German celebration. The tradition of Oktoberfest dates all the way back to 1810 with the celebration of a royal wedding.
On October 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. In order to celebrate the royal wedding, the couple invited the citizens of Munich to attend festivities that were being held on the fields in front of the city gates. The close of the event was marked by horse races in the presence of the royal family. The decision to repeat the horse races in the following years lead to the birth of Oktoberfest.
While the horse races are no longer a part of Oktoberfest, as time went on the festival began adding more and more events and activities. Starting in 1818, the first beer stands were introduced, which was an immediate hit amongst those who attended. Starting in 1896, the beer stands were replaced with beer tents and halls. An increased amount of rides, such as carousels, were added as the festival continued to grow in size and popularity.
Today, the Oktoberfest that is held in Munich, Germany is the world’s largest festival. The 200th anniversary for Oktoberfest was celebrated in 2010. The only times this wonderful event has been cancelled has been due to wars and epidemics. The 184th Oktoberfest will be taking place this year. Despite its name, Oktoberfest actually begins on the first Saturday after September 15th and lasts between 16-18 days.
Lucky for you, if you’re looking to celebrate Oktoberfest this year, you don’t have to go all the way to Germany! Myrtle Beach will be having their own Oktoberfest celebration on October 13th and 14th. Festivities will take place from 4 pm to 9 pm on Friday and from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday.
The 9th annual Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest will be held at Valor Park in the Market Common. It is free to attend, however, if you plan on drinking any of the German beers, tasting tickets are $1 each. Samples range from costing 2-6 tickets on average.
This event is perfect for both adults and children. There will be face painting, inflatables, and a pumpkin patch for children. Guests can also expect to enjoy authentic German food, beer and wine, German music, and vendors. Popular German snacks such as soft pretzels, dumplings, and sausage are always a part of Oktoberfest and a huge hit with guests.
Over the years, Oktoberfest has grown and changed to accommodate its growing following. From its humble beginnings in 1810 to becoming the biggest festival in the world, attendees always have a great time! Take part in Myrtle Beach’s own Oktoberfest celebration on October 13th and 14th and enjoy all the wonders the German culture has to offer!