Evolved from an event that took place in 1810 when the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married the Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildurghausen, the first “Oktoberfest” took place over a period of five days, concluding with a horse race.
By the end of the 19th century, the celebrations continued and eventually the festival was lengthened and pushed forward into September to allow participants to take advantage of warmer weather and late-night carousing. This part of the tradition has carried on through to the present day, with the festival beginning each year at the end of September and extending into the beginning of October.
In 1881, with the permission of the city council, the festival expanded to include beer sales. Before 1900, the famed beer tents were set up to host visitors, and opening processions initiated to mark the start of the festival.
Though Oktoberfest is seeded in tradition, it nevertheless makes alterations to its formula from time to time to stay relevant and keep visitors safe and contented. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see in 2012:
- Glass Be-gone: With the increase of injuries from scrapes and cuts caused by broken glass, Oktoberfest organizers have decided to eliminate glass bottles for the sake of visitor well-being.
- There’s an App for That: A newly launched app will enable visitors to see if beer tents are still open and which days of the event will be most crowded. There are some fun features, too, like the drunkenness check, which allows you to show your Facebook friends how much you’ve had to drink while monitoring your blood alcohol levels based on your height and weight.
If you can’t hop a plane to Germany any time soon, never fear: beer enthusiasts can get a taste of the tradition at home with some of the area’s local Oktoberfest traditions. Below, Observation Baltimore has compiled a short list of some of the places to frequent in the Maryland and Washington, DC metropolitan communities:
- Blob Park’s Oktoberfest in Jessup, MD (September 22nd-October 28th)
- Frederick Oktoberfest in Frederick, Maryland (September 29th-30th)
- Snallygaster DC in Washington DC (October 13th)
For information about additional local Oktoberfest activities, please visit the About.com article here.
To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.
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