By Page Zakas
Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany in 1810. When Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, the people of Munich gathered for five days of celebrations. In 1811, a horse race was added to conclude the festival, which continued through 1938. In addition to the horse race, the festival included an agricultural fair in 1811, and in 1818, beer pubs were also added.
Oktoberfest lasts about two weeks, and in recent years, has moved from October to September because of the milder temperatures. Oktoberfest has a wide variety of attractions for tourists and locals alike. At Oktoberfest, an attendee can expect fairs, food, beers from local beer halls, carnival rides, and music. Now, many German festivals similar to Oktoberfest take place all over the world including Canada, Argentina, Chile, and the United States.
Washington D.C. hosts its own Oktoberfest celebrations yearly, and this past Saturday, September 22nd kicked off the start of Oktoberfest. H Street and National Harbor are both known for their Oktoberfest revelry where German culture is celebrated. From food to music to dancing, D.C. offers many of the attractions similar to the original Oktoberfest.
The Biergarten Haus, a Bavarian pub, serves 12 German drafts as well as 11 drafts for Oktoberfest as well as food and music. Other areas of D.C. hosts their own Oktoberfests including the Frederick Oktoberfest, Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest Reston, Oktoberfest at Capitol City Brewing Company and many others. Check out this site to see all the Oktoberfest opportunities around the area.