By: Charlotte Cheek ~Guest Writer~

Oktoberfest originates in Munich, Germany and dates back to the 19th century.

In 1810, on the third weekend of September, there was a celebration in honor of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen- Hildburghausen’s marriage. The wedding was so successful that there was another celebration honoring it two years later. The celebration became a tradition in Munich and is now known as Oktoberfest. It is held from the secondto- last Saturday in September until the first Sunday of October. Oktoberfest is a celebration of the harvest and autumn. Throughout the two-weeklong festival, attendees are known to drink beer and eat traditional foods such as pork sausages, roasted chicken and pork, pretzels and dumplings. Oktoberfest continues to grow each year. The 2013 Oktoberfest Munich hosted more than 6.4 million people and served more than 6.7 million liters of beer. Only beer that fits certain criteria can be served at Oktoberfest, and it must be brewed within the Munich city limits.

Oktoberfest came to Cincinnati in 1976, and is known to be the second largest Oktoberfest, next to that in Munich. According to OktoberfestZinzinnati.com, “The Mayor of Munich annually decrees Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati as the largest in the world outside of his domain.”

Approximately 500,000 festival goers flock to six blocks on East 5th Street on the third weekend in September. In 1994 Oktoberfest Zinzinnati earned the world record for the “largest group dance,” when more than 48,000 people did the Chicken Dance. They held the record from 1995-97.