Oktoberfest Exports from Around the World, But There Can Be Only One
It is true that there can be only one Oktoberfest, and that is on the Theresienwiese event grounds in Munich, Bavaria. While the Oktoberfest in Munich remains the original and still, of course, the best, the concept of the Oktoberfest has been exported around the entire globe. This recent phenomenon of the internationalisation of the Oktoberfest style event just goes to show the popularity of the Wiesn event in Munich.
There are a no doubt a great many beer, sausage and sauerkraut enthusiasts from all corners of the world, who, while they would love a slice of the authentic Oktoberfest experience, perhaps can’t make it to Munich. That is where the localised versions of the Oktoberfest come in.
Oktoberfest throughout the Globe
In the twin Canadian cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, in the western province of Ontario, local organisers have taken the premise of the Oktoberfest to heart, launching their own version which takes place for nine days in the autumn each and every year. Perhaps surprisingly to Oktoberfest purists back in Bavaria, it is in the cold climes of the North American continent that the Oktoberfest concept has taken off like a rocket.
The Ontarian locals have certainly embraced the concept of their own local Oktoberfest celebration. The Oktoberfest event held in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo has grown year on year to now hold the title as the largest Oktoberfest style celebration outside the original in Munich.
The Oktoberfest in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo boasts a typical annual attendance of between seven hundred and fifty thousand people to over a million people. Not bad at all, though the Kitchener and Waterloo Oktoberfest event still has some distance to go before it can hope to rival the original and still the best Oktoberfest back on the Theresienwiese event grounds in Munich, Bavaria.
The Munich Oktoberfest consistently sees some six million patrons come through the gates each and every year – a truly gargantuan number.
The Universal Attraction of Oktoberfest
If you happen to be in the Canadian twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo during early October you can visit one of their nineteen different ‘festhallen’, or beer halls, during their Oktoberfest. There is certainly a real desire in the Ontarian cities to capture the spirit and ambience of the real thing back in Bavaria.
The Canadian Oktoberfest event organisers and different beer hall proprietors talk of wanting to emulate the ‘Gemuetlichkeit’ feeling that so defines the original Munich Oktoberfest. This is that intangible sense of cheerfulness and satisfaction, the lazy, laid back cosiness and good spirit that is typified by the Bavarian locals at the Wiesn.
Besides the Canadian Oktoberfest situated in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, the spirit of the Bavarian Oktoberfest has been transported far and wide around the world. Locales with large German descendant populations, such as southern Brazil, Argentina and the United States all boast similar Oktoberfest celebrations.
Seemingly less likely locations for an Oktoberfest include India and even the Palestinian territories. It just goes to show that the appeal of the Oktoberfest event is truly universal. However, there can only be one true Oktoberfest, and for that you’ll just have to travel to the fabled Theresienwiese.