With this years Covid cancellations of Oktoberfest in Munich and even our local events in Walnut Creek & Clayton there as been a drought of lederhosen, dirndls and maybe even some German bier. Oktoberfest has been cancelled 24 times primarily due to war and cholera epidemics, and now Covid. The last couple of years I was invited to a friends house who does a wonderful Oktoberfest in her backyard. Like me they also lived in Germany and it is always a fun celebration of friends, food and bier. Thus I thought it was worth sharing a bit of trivia this last week Oktober regarding the Oktoberfest celebration!
Did you know, Oktoberfest actually starts in September? The original Oktoberfest was held October of 1810 in honor of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Oktoberfestbier is brewed only by the breweries within the city limits of Munich. These are also the only breweries allowed to participate in the annual Munich Oktoberfest. For beer lovers, you might enjoy the “want to know link” below as to why they needed a festival in October to finish off the beer casks
Here are some fast facts and trivia about Oktoberfest. You’ll also want to know the history of this event, as well as the differentiation between Oktoberfest the fest, and Oktoberfest the brew! Once you’ve mastered those, try your luck at this Oktoberfest quiz. I did pretty well myself!
Should you decide to host your own Oktoberfest in the future, here are some tips about clothing and food. This year, you can just wear your lederhosen and dirndle for Halloween, but that seems to be cancelled too….
I went to the Walnut Creek Oktoberfest at Civic Park a few weeks back – an event I’d recommended in a previous blog! It did not disappoint, however, I don’t think the people running the event had any idea what they were in for. They ran out of beer fairly quickly, and also didn’t have enough pretzels or funnel cake for the hungry and thirsty masses!
Overall, it was still an awesome event. There were a few people dressed up and the beer they did have was served from Brauerei Weihenstephan, which is apparently the oldest brewery in the world. They also had some local artisanal beer selections, as well as wine. The main issue (besides running out of it!) was that the drink lines were so long, that you had to wait for 20 minutes to get a stein or in this case a glass of beer and then you could only have up to two at a time.
So, even though the food and drinks were good, the crowd was large, and the Civic Park venue was much more appropriate than the old location on Locust St., there were some operational issues to work out for future events. There was a kids area, plenty of food vendors, art vendors, beer batter dipped french fries (What?!), music, and a bunch of new people to meet. I went towards the end, but the consensus seemed to be that it was a very successful event.
Oh, and did I mention it was dog-friendly? What a bonus! I would have brought Bodie if he would do well in crowds with dogs everywhere, but I didn’t want to risk it. Still, what a great event for downtown Walnut Creek that will surely be replicated in the Octobers to come and may surpass Clayton – just with more beer next time! Did you go? Let me know what you thought!
There’s one event – a holiday, even, if you stretch that definition – that takes place each Fall that all adult should take part in. It’s not Thanksgiving. Not Halloween. It’s the German beer event known as Oktoberfest! The festival has become so popular, that pretty much every town has their own version.
Even here in Walnut Creek, we have an Oktoberfest event, and it’s taking place this coming weekend! This year, it will be held at Civic Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can head there to drink copious amounts of beer, eat great food, and meet fun people! This is the 4th annual Walnut Creek Oktoberfest and will span all 16-plus acres of the park.
At the Walnut Creek event, there will be a Biergarten, Microbrews, gourmet food, live music, Autobahn and vendors. All ages are welcome to the Kids Zone but the beer areas will be the main draws. Best of all, tickets are FREE.
Oktoberfest, of course, originated in Germany and is celebrated widely in cities like Munich and Berlin, where people dress up and stand on tables and drink beer all day. I actually had the pleasure of attending Oktoberfest in Munich back in my 20’s – lots of drinking, a carnival…and I really don’t remember much else. Walnut Creek’s isn’t quite as celebrated, but it’s still a good time! Hope to see you there – lederhosen and dirndls not required, but encouraged!
Get your lederhosen or Dirndl dress ready for the upcoming Oktoberfest in Walnut Creek. The festival, taking place Saturday, October 17, from 10am – 5pm, will be located between Cypress St. and Civic Dr.
The event is free, and family friendly, featuring a pumpkin patch and other children’s activities. I can’t wait to enjoy the biergarten, with many local and foreign craft beers, and the gourmet food exhibitors.
There will also be a music stage, featuring Petty Theft, Mustache Harbor, and Revolver.
For more information, visit the Walnut Creek Downtown website.