This weekend we prepare for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, supposedly the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich. Racine, Wisconsin, also has that claim, as do a few other cities. While we put on our eating pants (or lederhosen) and eat German food to our heart’s content, the people of Munich will be consuming too. Our Oktoberfest season starts even earlier than Munich’s with our region’s most authentic Germania Park Oktoberfest, in mid August.
The festival is now on its 183rd year – based on the wedding party of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese—”Therese’s fields”—in honor of the crown princess; which has now been abbreviated to “Wies’n.” The 16 day festival now starts in September, because the weather is milder than
Here’s what we consume in Zinzinnati on Oktoberfest Weekend, according to the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce:
64,000 sauerkraut balls
20,000 cream puffs
24,640 potato pancakes
23,000 soft pretzels
3600 pounds of sauerkraut
700 pounds of smelly Limburger cheese
400 pickled pig’s feet
Wow our German palate seems starved to eat our heritage! The estimate is for 500,000 jolly attendees for the three day weekend.
We are also host the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, with 48,000 dancers in 1994. We’ve had celebrities like George Takei, Nick Lachey, and Mini-me lead this crazy tanz in past years.
Only six Munich breweries are approved to brew the Oktoberfest beer, all of which strictly adhere to the Rheinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1487. They are: Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner, and Paulaner. And, an estimated 7.5 million liters of beer will be consumed under the tents. This figure is actually down from the 7.7 million liters from 2014. The 5.9 million festivalgoers also nearly choked on 122 oxen and 51 calves to go with the beer.
The drunkards in Munich lost 804 passports, 742 wallets, 479 cellphones, and three wedding rings at the 2015 Oktoberfest.
Similar to the stein carrying events that are held under the Uberdrome at the Moerlein Lager House, Munich has a stein carrying competition as well. The current record was set in 2014 by German Oliver Struempfel, who carried 25 full beer steins without spilling over 131 feet. The women’s record goes to Anita Schwarz for carrying 19 steins.
Stein stealing is one of the biggest problems at Munich Oktoberfest. 110,000 people unsuccessfully attempted to walk out of the Munich tents with a beer stein.
The biggest problems with Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the arrival of non-German foods like jambalaya in the food area, and the lack of anti-acids.