You don’t have to travel to Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest with a couple steins of beers and pork knuckles.
More than six million partiers travel to Munich for Oktoberfest, but only about 2 percent of the crowd usually comes from the United States, according to WalletHub estimates. It makes sense — the trip would cost an average of $5,000 for Americans.
» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: For Germany and Dayton, brewery connects people through beer
Plenty of U.S. cities host their own festivals – on the top of the list, Cincinnati and San Francisco. Here’s what you need to know about the history of Oktoberfest, and how you can celebrate:
1. OLD TRADITIONS Oktoberfest first started on Oct. 12, 1810 in Munich. The event celebrated a royal wedding in the city. The event, which typically last around 16 to 18 days, has a $1.53 billion economic impact in MUNICH.
2. BEER MANIA Oktoberfest in Munich has about 36 beer tents set up each year. More than 1.98 million gallons of beer are consumed during Oktoberfest, and one liter of beer cost $12.90. It’s not all fun and games in Munich. About 670 cases of alcohol poisoning were reported at Oktoberfest last year and more than 4,000 items — including 1,300 passports and 600 wallets — were brought to the lost and found in 2017. Approximately 67 reports of drug and sexual crimes were reported in 2017, an almost 50 percent increase from 2016.
3. PORK & PRETZELS It’s not all about the beer. More than 700,000 roast chickens and 60,000 sausages are consumed each year at Oktoberfest. About 59,000 pork knuckles are eaten too. It;’s truly still a local event. More than 70 percent of Oktoberfest attendees are from Bavaria while 15 percent of Oktoberfest visitors come from abroad.
4. OKTOBERFEST ZINZINNATI Can’t make it to Munich? Just head down to Cincinnati. The Queen City hosts the most popular Oktoberfest in the U.S. with more than 675,000 people attending last year. More than 80,000 bratwursts and 64,000 sauerkraut balls were eaten at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in 2017, and 100 Dachshunds raced in the Running of the Wieners. More than 116 beer varieties are available at the Cincinnati festival.
» YOUR NEXT WEEKEND TRIP: 20 things to do, see, eat in Cincinnati
This year, the festival will take place Friday through Sunday on 2nd and 3rd streets, between Walnut and Elm streets in downtown Cincinnati. Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard will lead the annual “World’s Largest Chicken Dance.” Check out the full schedule here.
5. DAYTON’S GERMAN HISTORY Dayton celebrates Oktoberfest too. The Dayton Art Institute has hosted its Oktoberfest celebration since 1972. This year, it will take place Friday through Sunday. Dayton Liederkranz-Turner, the city’s German-American club, will also host its Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 20 from 5 to 11 p.m. Admission is $3, and authentic German food, music and beverages will be served.
FIVE FAST READS