Finally, I had my first taste of Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest is the largest of Volksfest celebrated in the whole of Germany ( and of the world) along with travelling carnival and fun fair. For the neighboring cities around Munich,each one has their unique Volksfest. Since 1946, Ingolstadt had its first festival after WW II, and from then on ,there are two major festival to celebrate. One in Spring and one in Fall. I had always been curious what is all about Oktoberfest and all these hustle and bustle about beer. I am not a beer drinker but having been able to see how this beautiful festival is celebrated is probably one of the highlights of my days living as an Expat in Germany.
If you are visiting Germany, you’ve gotta love this! The whole place is so alive and flooded with colorful people wearing their traditional Lederhosen and Dirndls waslking in the festive vibe of Volk musik.
Last Friday, September 23, the Volksfest in Ingolstadt started and will last until 3rd of October. As the renowned legendary and traditional ritual of tapping the first barrel of Oktoberfest-beer is one of the things that I really looked forward to see, by my own eyes.There is something great about seeing it for real compared to the ones that I only saw in internet. Since 1972, Volksfest in Ingolstadt is held in Volksfestplatz just beside the ZOB.
Volksfest with a toddler? No problem!
Aside from no entrance fee,Volksfest is for the entire family. I was having doubts how would my daughter would behave during this time because of the crowds and the volk-musik was continously played by the stage band. I was quite surprised that Volksfest is kid-friendly. There is something about a father & daughter sharing food, and old couple happily enjoying lunch, and of course, sharing a mug of beer. Volksfest is defintely a disabled-accessible,most especially with people with disabilities and in wheelchairs.
We managed to find the big tent where the tapping of the first barrel of beer would be held. This is known as the “Schottenhamel” beer tent. I found a very nice place directly in front of the beer kegs but my daughter started to get bored and whining. But even if I had to change my position after my husband take her, I still managed to get an arm’s length from the spot were the barrel will be tapped.Soon, the Mayor Dr. Christian Lösel and his entourage arrived and began the ceremony.
As usual, the first thing He spoke into the microphone was “O’zapft is!” ( “It is tapped!”) and wished everyone a peaceful celebration of Volksfest. As protocol demands, the first mug of beer was passed on and with that all the other beer tents could start selling beer as well.
Volksfest has officially started!
Volksfest star of the festivities is the Beer. And oh, the famous Bavarian beer. They’ll serve it to you in a size smaller than a Maß (which is one liter, same as the one in above photo) but if you order anything smaller you’ll be mocked, so don’t. You can also get Radler (half-beer, half-lemonade), water, and soda, but drinking those things is what all the other days of the year are for. Unless you’re a recovering alcoholic! In which case the water and soda are great and Oktoberfest is probably not that fun for you! Waitresses your grandmother’s age will be carrying eight or ten Maß at a time, which is impressive.
Talking about food? You will drool at the sight of food during Volksfest. Order Münchener Weißwurst immediately! Since we are in Bavaria, we soothed our taste buds with threats that is definitely the food for the gods at this time.
My favorite so far is the simple Bratwurst ,fries, and of course,my daughter’s Bretzel! The size of the Pretzel is so huge that we only share a piece. From the cheeses,breads,sausages, roasted chicken, pork slices and grilled meats were also among the favourites. The smell of the food stalls are just heavenly!
Outside was a place of colorful Carnival. One of the highlight was the daring roller coasters, giant Ferris wheel which goes high as 40 meters and gives you rare views of the whole city, children’s carousel, and so much more. I’ve heard that this year, a number of rides were new such as the “Spinning Coaster”, Rollercoaster Crazy Mouse, the rapid jungle giant swing Konga with an altitude of 45 meters and a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour, also 4G gravity. All not my kind of fun and not for the faint-hearted! Just looking at it makes me sick, but for others, it is sure a thrill-filled ride.Me and my daughter enjoyed our very first train ride and it was absolutely fun!
The whole fair ground was a full of families, young & adults enjoyed a week-long festivities. It’s not just about drinking beer. It’s a whole more than that. A true legacy that defines German character and culture. Through the years, beer culture of Germany have been attracting so many tourists and now I know why.
I was even more impressed that the security was heightened by checking the bags,the strollers and there are always roaming guards to ensures public safety.Inside the tent was a no-smoking policy is observed and everything is in order even the public bathrooms. Animals are also not allowed inside the Volksfestplatz.
Have you had a taste of Oktoberfest?
How was your experience?
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19 thoughts on “O’zapft is ! my first Volksfest experience”
Ah those crazy South German traditions 😀
I am one of those who have never experienced Oktoberfest simply because it does not exist here in North Germany. Sure it does look interesting but I don’t know how comfortable I’d be there as we Northerners prefer keeping safety distance to others :p
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Tell me if you’ll ever come to Bavaria! I’m sure Nathan will enjoy the rides, although my daughter screams at the sight of the giant Gorilla and she just slept through the Parade! Lol
Tell you a secret, I only come there cuz I’m curious, and now I know why..Bavarians really have a thing with this.
Maybe next year, I’ll get Natalie a Dirndl too 🙂
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Happy Oktober Fest! How much of those did you down? 😉
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Let’s see when we will manage it to go to the crazy south 😉
For now we have enough “dressing up issues” with Nathan as he outgrows his clothes for the medieval fair too quickly!
Oh I just take a sip from time to time. Bavarian beer is good actually, less bitter.But I’m not a beer drinker 😦
Give me Riesling white wine !
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I’ll raise you a glass! 😉