The Bavarian German holiday of d'Wiesn has been celebrated for over two hundred years and, since its origin, remains to be the exciting Oktoberfest celebration that we know it as today!
So last weekend, my good friend (Bill Landrey) and I decided to experience Oktoberfest a bit closer to home and headed down to the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. People sat at long tables listening to an authentic Bavarian band and enjoying beer, sauerkraut and bratwurst. It wasn't long before we were meeting and talking with everyone around us. It was very reminiscent of my experience at the Oktoberfest in Munich a few years ago.
If you live close, I highly recommend taking your friends down to the Phoenix Club and enjoying a taste of Bavaria!
The Phoenix Club celebrates Oktoberfest from the middle of September until near the end of October. With special "Hauntoberfest" events at beginning the week after the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. The clubimports German beer, serves traditional German dishes, holds various contests and each night a live band plays Bavarian Oom pah pah music. I was able to capture some Oktoberfest music and dancing on film, have a look at the clip!
Check out their website at http://www.thephoenixclub.com/oktoberfest/
What is d'Wiesn aka Oktoberfest?
Well, it originated as a celebration of the union of Bavarian Prince Louis and his Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The town's citizens were invited in mid October 1810 by the royal family to engage in the festivities which were held in front of the city's gates in Bavaria, Germany. These fairgrounds are historically referred to as "Theresienwiese" translated to mean the meadows of Therese in English. The fields named in honor of the Bavarian Queen later became known as d'Wiesn which is synonymous with the term for Oktoberfest in Munich. Oktoberfest traditionally begins in mid-September to accommodate for better weather during the festival; the festival continues until the first week of October. The particular Oktoberfest etiquette which is followed helps to preserve the historical and cultural traditions of the Germans.
The first d'Wiesn celebration in 1810 ended with a horse race.This tradition was repeated the following year and thus began the annual historical celebration. Eventually the German thirst was quenched in the late 1880's when beer became a key component of the celebrations. The people and businesses of the town prepare many months in advance as the approved breweries perfect their Oktoberfest beers. Around 1950, the festival began with a special opening event in which the first keg of Oktoberfest is tapped at noon. When the event finally comes to fruition, many tents can be seen throughout the fairgrounds vending various farming goods, Bavarian foods, Oktoberfest beers, and providing instructions on several Bavarian practices of the Old Country. This cultural event is one of the largest in the world, attracting thousands of people to the town of Munich, Germany each Fall.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the legal drinking age in Germany is 16?