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Oktoberfest   /   September 12, 2016

A Parade, O' Zapft Is & Prost

If you’ve read our post about how Oktoberfest began than you already know it’s the celebration of the wedding anniversary between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. (And if you didn’t, now you do!) But it’s definitely more than the chicken dance and some cake.

Oktoberfest is celebrated in many ways all over the world. But how is it done at the place it all began, Munich, Germany?

Dating back to 1887, the opening day ceremonies begin with a four-mile parade featuring elaborate floats, bands and more than 25,000 men, women and children. Many revelers proudly don the traditional lederhosen and dirndls.

At 11 am on the dot the parade, led by the Münchner Kindl (the little Munich city’s coat of arms), enters the grounds on the Wies’n (short for Theresienwiese, or Therese’s fields after Bavaria’s famous bride). The mayor arrives in a festive coach followed by civic dignitaries and horse-drawn brewer’s carts decorated with flowers.

Arrival of Mayor to tap the first keg of Oktoberfestbier in Munich Germany

At noon the parade winds its way to the “Schottenhamel” tent, which also happens to be the oldest private tent at Oktoberfest. Here, the mayor finally taps the first keg of beer and declares O’zapft is!

Now the fun can really begin!

Besides the beer, another can’t-miss part of Oktoberfest in Munich is the famous Ferris wheel. Riesenrad in German, the Ferris wheel at the Oktoberfest fairgrounds is 48 meters (158 feet) high and offers riders breathtaking views of the Munich skyline and the celebration below. It is such a fairground fixture that it was even incorporated into the official Oktoberfest placards in 2002 and 2004.

What’s your favorite Oktoberfest tradition from Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas? Share in the comments!