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All pictures are © TomSlik.com

Our Dates for the Oktoberfest 2016:

1st Weekend: Sept. 30, October 1 and 2

2nd Weekend: October 7, 8 and 9, 2016

Our Band directly from Germany: Die Guggenbach Buam

Come and enjoy authentic German food, such as bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, potato salad, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage, pretzels, and a variety of German pastries. We offer a great selection of German beers and liquors, and soft drinks and water, to enjoy with your friends and family!

Our band, the Guggenbach-Buam, joins us from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. These talented, entertaining musicians dress in traditional clothing, and play a variety of German music, just as you would hear in the beer gardens in Bavaria. Enjoy songs such as the chicken dance, polkas and waltzes, and all the famous beer-drinking tunes – new and old! Dance or sing along to some wonderful Oom-pah music!

Watch traditional folk dancing performances, compete in our numerous games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths, and treat your kids to their own Kids’ Zone. Bring your family and friends to El Cajon and experience a real German Oktoberfest!

We would like to thank Tom Slik for the pictures in the slideshow above. To look at (and order, if you like) these and other pictures from Tom, please go to TomSlik.com

 

The history of the Oktoberfest

The origin

Four years after Bavaria was elevated to the status of a kingdom, the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen took place on 12th October 1810. The official celebrations of the wedding lasted five days and were mounted as a great ovation to the ruling house of the young kingdom. Both radiant and at the same time popular, the celebrations were performed on the stage which was the whole of Munich. The parade of the marksmen of the National Guard and of the civilian shooting societies, illuminations and music, eating and drinking, with kettle drums and trumpets– an enormous festive atmosphere filled the center of the town.

The dynasty of  the Wittelsbachs demonstrated its closeness to the people and thereby at the same time thanked its subjects, who patience had been sorely tried through the ties with France and the wars resulting from it, by expanding territories and administrative  reorganization. A great festival as an attempt to establish an identity for the ‘new’ Bavarians and direct their attention to the capital and seat of the king and the Bavarian rulers’ house came just at the right time. The celebrations even then referred to as a “popular festival” in the center of town were concluded on the 17th October with a horse race on a meadow outside the gates of the town. The highest permission for this competition was obtained by “individuals classified in the Cavalry Division of the National Guard, third class,” under Major Andreas von Dall’Armi. Children in Bavarian national dress paid homage to the Royal family that was present with poems, flowers and fruits of the land. In honors of the bride the festival grounds were called “Theresens – Wiese”. And today the Oktoberfest venue is still called: “Theresienwiese” – in common Munich parlance “the Wiesn” for short. The subsequent horse race was won by the National Guard Cavalryman and hackney coachman Franz Baumgartner, who is alleged to have proposed this event. The 1810 horse race was meant to revive the famous “scarlet race”, which was last held at the Munich Jacob’s Dult in 1786.

1810 to 2010 – 200 years of Oktoberfest

The “Anniversary Celebration 200 Years of Oktoberfest” in 2010 was dedicated to the origin and history of the world’s largest folk festival. This unique festival in the southern part of Theresienwiese  entertainment  that has become rare, such as nostalgic merry-go-rounds and public spectacles, horse races and animal shows, art, culture and historical customs, special culinary delights and a multifaceted program for children. Following the outstanding popular success in 2010 of the “Anniversary Celebration – 200 Years of Oktoberfest”, the “Vintage Wiesn” (“Oide Wiesn”) will present a nostalgic reminder of the festivals of bygone decades also in 2011 in the southern part of Theresienwiese.

Today the Oktoberfest – the festival of Munich the capital of Bavaria – is regarded as the largest funfair in the world and is known on all continents. What is special about the Oktoberfest is that it has managed to perform with ease the difficult balancing act between a festival for the people of Munich and a major international event; that it remembers its roots and is open to new developments. The typical mix of high-tech and tradition today sets the tone of the festival of festivals and constitutes its great attraction.

The Story of the Pretzel

PretzelpicThe pretzel symbol is a rune from the ancient Germanic times – long before there was an alphabet established – and was the sign for life, as it begins thinly, intertwines, gets thicker and flares out (just like life) into a circle and comes back to a thin end.The Story of the Pretzel

The spelling with a “P” is English. In Germany it is spelled with a “B”, and so also the word starts softly, becomes strong with the “tz” in the middle and rolls out into the “l”.

Bread has often been considered the “staff of life”, and this symbol became the sign for the bakers’ guilds. Just as the horseshoe was the sign of the blacksmith, the pretzel was the sign of the bakery.