The beginning of the first Oktoberfest took place on 12th October 1810 in Munich, Germany to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.
All Munich citizens were asked to join in the celebrations at a festivity to be held in a field just outside the city gates and in honour of the newly wed princess it was named Theresienwiese (Theresia’s fields). The celebrations ended with a horse race.
In 1811, as well as the horse races an Agricultural Show was introduced, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse races, which were the oldest – and at one time – the most popular event of the festival are no longer held today. But the Agricultural Show is still held every three years during the Oktoberfest on the southern part of the festival grounds.
In the first few decades, there wasn’t a huge amount of amusements available but then in 1818, a carousel and two swings were set up.
To quench the thirst of all the vistitors to this festival various small beer stands were erected with different ales and alcohol available.
In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by beer tents and halls instead and were set up by local landlords, whilst the rest of the festival fields were a funfair. By now there was a range of carousels and other fairground rides continued to come to the site in Germany.
Today, Munich’s Oktoberfest is the largest festival of it’s kind in the world, varying the different ales, beers and largers on an international level in keeping with the 20th century.
At the foot of the Bavaria Statue, adjacent to the Huge Oktoberfest grounds there are still fairground rides like the carousels, roller coasters and lots of other hair raising rides for all ages of visitors to enjoy.
The festivities follow a program of events, which includes the Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade, and a concert involving brass bands representing the “Wiesn”.
The Oktoberfest celebrated its 200th Anniversery in 2010, and it is only during Wars and a cholera epidemic that have briefely interrupted the yearly beer celebration.