During this past October, we have had the opportunity to attend two Octoberfest Festivals. The first being opening day at Octoberfest Munich, Germany. The second, Octoberfest in Stuttgart, Germany.
The first we attended with two friends from Strasbourg. We spent Friday night driving 4 hours out to our hotel in Munich.
We will call this the, “before picture.”
The following morning we woke up at 8:00 am and headed to the other side of the city where the festival was being held. Thinking that would give us plenty of time to find a table before the opening ceremony at noon.
It was not.
Once at the festival, we headed to a couple tents looking for open seats. We found ourselves in trouble. Arriving around 9:30 am. We were having a lot of problems locating available seats for four people. The four of us decided to split up into two groups, fortunately, we found some luck then. When a table of locals about our age welcomed M and me.
^One of the girls we met…who somehow took a photo on my phone.
We sat with them, chatting about where we were from. Turns out they arrived around 7:30 am to grab their table. We may have underestimated the crowds.
Eventually, it was time for the ceremony to start. There was singing, traditional music, a small parade, and the opening of the keg.
Once things got going there was a lot of German talk, cheering, and singing of the “Ein Prosit.” A short verse, all in German, not sure what it means, but it ends with a “cheers” and a drink.
The tents did not start serving beer until the festival began at noon and once it did, it took a while for the beers to be sent out to all the inhabitants. About 1 -2 hours for us to get ours, but it eventually came and we enjoyed.
As time went on we continued to sing, often popular American songs, we ate pretzels, and stood on benches singing and “prosting” with strangers.
A good amount of time passed before it was time to head out. M and I had certainly had our fill of drinks for the evening so we headed out with our friends and a few new ones. Refueled with some brats and M went on one of those fair rollercoasters. Cold, tired, and a bit tipsy we headed back to our hotel.
The next day the city of Munich had a big parade featuring some traditional Bavarian outfits. We stayed to watch for a bit, but eventually hit the road and headed home.
The second Octoberfest we attended in Stuttgart was with my sister and brother-in-law. The flew out from California to visit for a week and our trip ended with an evening of beer drinking and really loud music.
The two festivals had many similarities and differences. Both had very similar booths and tents. There were tons of fair games, rides, and traditional German food stands. The tents were large and packed with people sitting and standing at long tables.
The Munich festival did seem to have a more global crowd of people of all ages. Whereas the Stuttgart festival appeared more local with a lot more teenagers.
We very much enjoyed our time at both and encourage anyone visiting Germany the month of September to visit Octoberfest….I know, it doesn’t make sense to us either.