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This fall, Oakland Park, FL will host its 14th annual Oktoberfest celebration. The three-day celebration is expected to draw thousands of people from across Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. What exactly is Oktoberfest, anyway, and why are so many interested in the celebration?

What is Oktoberfest?

As the name suggests, Oktoberfest is a celebration of all things German. The event’s origins date all the way back to Munich, Germany in the early 1800s. Specifically, Oktoberfest got its start as a wedding celebration for King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Shortly after the nuptials, citizens of Munich were invited to attend lavish wedding festivities on the fields in front of the Munich city gates. That first year, festivities included a horse race, parade, festival, and generously-flowing beer and wine.

The wedding celebration was intended to be a one-time event. However, the celebration proved to be so popular and community-oriented that the government continued to hold the festivities in each passing year. The celebration expanded, and soon included tree climbing, bowling, carnival booths, and the involvement of local breweries.

Today, Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany. The festivities begin in September and run through the first Sunday in October. The celebration officially begins at 12:00 when the lord mayor taps the first beer barrel in the traditional Schottenhammel tent. With his pronouncement, 12 gunshots are fired into the air, signaling that brewers and restaurateurs may begin to serve beer to the Oktoberfest guests.

Oktoberfest Beer

Oktoberfest celebrations are perhaps best known as a celebration of beer. It is true that beer has deep roots in Oktoberfest. In fact, there are some strict regulations and customs when it comes to what beer can be served at Oktoberfest.

In Munich, only beer that conforms to the German Beer Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot, can be served at Oktoberfest. Reinheitsgebot, which began in 1516, has three primary restrictions.

First, beer cannot be made using wheat. This help to ensure that the city will have a sufficient supply of fresh bread.

Second, brewers cannot charge high prices for their lagers. Beer is something that should be available to all Munich citizens, regardless of social status. Oktoberfest is a celebration for all.

Finally, beer can only contain water, barley, hops, and yeast. Yeast was actually not a permissible ingredient until fairly recently. This helps to ensure that beers are pure and free from unnecessary additives.

In addition to complying with Reinheitsgebot, beers served at Oktoberfest must have been brewed within the city’s limits. This essentially means that all beers must come from one of six breweries: Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu.

American Oktoberfest Celebrations

Oktoberfest is no longer a celebration that is singular to Munich. In fact, there are Oktoberfest celebrations all around the world each October. This is particularly true in countries where a significant segment of society identifies as having German ancestry.

In the United States, more than 50 million Americans identify as having German ancestors. In fact, approximately 17 percent of the population is German American. It is not surprising, then, that Oktoberfest celebrations are particularly popular in the states.

Some of the most widely-attended Oktoberfest celebrations are held in Cincinnati, OH; Denver, CO; Grand Rapids, MI; Rockaway Township, NJ; and right here in Oakland Park, FL.

In Germany, Oktoberfest is a multi-week celebration. In the United States, Oktoberfest celebrations tend to be condensed into two or three-day events. These celebrations tend to focus on everything German: beer, food, games, clothing, and music. Many American breweries celebrate Oktoberfest by releasing a special edition “Oktoberfest” beer, which is often the only true lager produced each year.

Oktoberfest in Oakland Park

Oakland Park will hold its 14th annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2018. The rain-or-shine event will be hosted by Funky Buddha Brewery and held at Jaco Pastorius Park. Remember to stay safe during Oktoberfest! Accidents happen in Oakland Park, and Oktoberfest is no exception. Don’t drink and drive. If you are injured because a negligent driver hit you, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Miami to discuss your case.

Oktoberfest Events

Oktoberfest is a jam-packed celebration of everything German. There will be rides, games, food, drinks, music, and other celebrations. Bring your friends, family, and anyone who enjoys a good time.

Food: Sample some of Oakland Park’s finest German cuisine! There will be German-style food inside the Biergarten, including sausage, bratwurst, pretzels, spätzle, schnitzel, sauerkraut, and more.

Beer: You can’t celebrate Oktoberfest without beer! Funky Buddha Brewery will be at the Biergarten to serve all of your beer-related needs. Enjoy some of your favorites or try some of the special Oktoberfest releases.

Games: What’s more fun than German-themed games? Try your hand at a stein race, beer barrel race, or strudel-eating contest.

Dachshund Dash: Dogs are always welcome in Oakland Park! The Dachshund Dash, sponsored by Central Bark, is a popular way to integrate our favorite four-legged pals into the festivities.

Amusement Rides: Don’t worry about Oktoberfest not being family-friendly. Amusement park rides can help to make Oktoberfest fun for everyone in the family.

Dancing, Singing, and Music: What better way to truly celebrate German heritage than with music? Enjoy Bavarian folk dancing with Auerhahn Schuhplattlers, singing courtesy of Sepp Diepolder, and other traditional Oktoberfest music stylings.

Need to know more about Oakland Park’s Oktoberfest? Contact Funky Buddha Brewery for more information!

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