Oktoberfest started with Ludwig and Therese

Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nothing says romance like Oktoberfest.

Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese were the Bavarian Brad and Angelina, a high profile, lovely, well-loved couple. He was young and handsome; she was the quintessential princess. On Oct. 12, 1810, the people of Munich were invited to celebrate their royal wedding.

But what began as a well-attended wedding reception has been taken over by citizens the world over, evolving into the ultimate celebration of fun.

The festival still held in Munich currently is the largest in the world and draws about 6 million people eager to watch parades, listen to music, dance and enjoy the traditional food and beer.

But one needn’t go beyond his or her own state line to find an Oktoberfest, as these festivals are held in towns of all sizes all over the world.

Modern day Oktoberfest celebrations vary from Toronto to Tulsa, but with certain consistencies. The menu generally consists of bratwurst, sauerkraut and locally brewed ales. The oom-pah bands made up of tubas, trumpets and drums play songs that make you want to dance. And there is a general mind-set of pursuing the art of having fun.

Playful activities are as varied as venues, with kazoo bands in Ohio and wiener dog races in Texas. Celebrations range from a few hours to a few weeks.

Regardless of where, what, or how long, that first festival in 1810 inspired Oktoberfest, an annual tribute to the human capacity to have a good time. And there’s something kind of romantic about that.

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