Oktoberfest 2010

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If there is one thing people know about Germany, it's Oktoberfest.  The two week celebration brings hundreds of thousands of people into the city for a bit of raucous fun. "The first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race." 

The celebration was such a hit with the locals it became an annual tradition.  Despite it's name, Oktoberfest actually begins in September and ends in October.  The festival was moved forward to take advantage of favorable fall weather allowing visitors to enjoy walking about the "Wiesen" or fields where the festival takes place.  

The Details
Transportation: U4/5 Theresienwiese, S1, S8 Hackerbruke
Cost: There is no charge to get onto the grounds of the festival, but from there, open your wallets! 
Tip: Check the website for Family Days when rides are half price.  Also, going during the day is much nicer for families with children.  Avoid weekends if possible when the festival swells with people. 

I was totally nervous about taking the girls down to Oktoberfest. I didn’t know what to expect and worried about them seeing unsavory behavior. Bob promised we would leave if we felt uncomfortable. In the end, we had a blast.

Not exactly sure what the calf warmers are for, but they are popular.

First off, the costume watching is fun in itself; everyone dresses in the traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl. There is nothing silly or corny about it, all week long we’ve seen people dressing in costume.

Secondly, the food is delicious. I love carnival food. The smell of candied nuts gets me every time. We ate the most delicious donuts, which reminded me of cider donuts from the Apple Orchard’s in Michigan. They serve every kind of wiener you can imagine, although I don't understand why they serve a foot long hot dog on a circular bun.

The girls had a good time riding the expensive rides.

Surprisingly, we didn’t run into any noticeably drunk patrons.For the most part the drinking takes place in these huge beer halls along the perimeter of the fair grounds. I walked into one to see what it was like and it reminded me of the World Cup party we attended during the summer; everyone standing on benches, beer in hand, singing some patriotic song. They were a lively crowd for sure. I took my photo and joined my kids back at the rides.

We really had an enjoyable night and all with out one sip of beer.