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Some interesting Oktoberfest Fun Facts...
...just a small public service of the NBYC

Many of us from Zinzinnati have celebrated Oktoberfest for as long as we can remember.   Something I never quite understood is the strange tradition of celebrating it in September!  Did you ever wonder why it ever was celebrated in the first place?  Just for fun here is a small collection of Oktoberfest fun facts to help you become an Oktoberfest Officianado!  
 
The first Octoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese.  The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. 40,000 people were in attendance.
Together, Ludwig and Therese had eight children. However, Ludwig was forced to abdicate his throne following the Revolution of 1848, in part because of his affair with dancer, Lola Montez

 
 
 
 
 Horse Races were held at the first Oktoberfest!  But by 1819, the race had been called off, replaced by beer carts and a carnival-like atmosphere. The leaders of Munich decided that Oktoberfest would be held each year, no exceptions. And though Oktoberfest originated as a one-day commemoration, it was thereby extended to 16 days of revelry and heavy drinking.
 
 
 
 
Unbelievable, but in the beginning, beer was not available at the Oktoberfest. Alcohol could only be purchased and enjoyed outside of the actual venue. Authorities soon realized that it would make sense to open the Oktoberfest venue to vendors and it was only then that the traditional beerhalls became popular.
 
 
 
 

Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times, twice by cholera epidemics (1854 and 1873), once in 1870 for the Franco-Prussian war (causing thirsty Bavarians to carp that this Prussian conflict had nothing to do with them), and in the years during and after World War One and Two. (Wars are always bad for beer, which seems reason enough not to have them at all.)

 
 
 
 

 

Average stats for Oktoberfest
Area: 103.79 acres (0.42 km²)
Seats in the festival halls: ca. 100,000
Visitors: ~ 6.2 million
Beer: appr. 6,940,600 liters (126,900 liters non-alcoholic)
Wine: 79,624 liters
Sparkling wine: 32,047 liters
Coffee, tea: 222,725 liters
Water, lemonade: 909,765 ½ liters
Chicken: 521,872 units
Pork sausages: 142,253 pairs
Fish: 38,650 kg
Pork knuckles: 58,446 units
Oxen: 104 units,
Expenditure of electricity: 2.8 million kWh (as much as 14% of Munich’s daily need or as much as a four person family will need in 52 years and 4 months)
Expenditure of gas: about 205,000 m³
Expenditure of water: about 90,000 m³ (as much as 27% of Munich’s daily need )
Waste: 678 t (2004)
Toilets: about 980 seated, more than 878 meters of urinals and 17 for disabled persons
Telephones: 83, also for international credit cards
Lost property: about 4000 items, among them 260 pairs of glasses, 200 mobile phones, wedding rings, and even crutches.

 

 
 
 
 
 

Beer consumption surpasses 5 million 1-liter mugs. The mugs themselves are a hot item. Security guards annually recover approximately 150,000 from would-be souvenir hunters. Many are not recovered; the Hofbräu tent alone averages 35,000 missing each year. The fine for stealing a souvenir mug: $60.00!

 
 
 
  

 There are many problems every year with young people who overestimate their ability to handle large amounts of alcohol. Many forget that beer has 7,5 to 8% alcohol, and they pass out due to drunkenness. These drunk patrons are often called "Bierleichen" (German for "beer corpses").

 

 
 
 

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has celebrated Oktoberfest since 1992 and it is held at the Hotel Equatorial.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Cincinnati, Ohio, which claims to hold the "largest authentic Oktoberfest" in the U.S., draws about 500,000 people to its 2 day celebration.  Munich, Germany, home to the original Oktoberfest draws about 6 million festival goers.  Not bad Cincinnati!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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