Oktoberfest in Calgary
Hello our adventurous friends,
"O' zapft is!", a Bavarian expression, meaning ‘it’s tapped’. The Oktoberfest first took place in 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Bavaria. To celebrate the royal wedding, a horse race was held in an open space which is now called the Theresienwiese, named after the bride Princess Therese. Over the years, Oktoberfest has developed many traditions and it is quite an experience. People all around the world celebrate the German fest with food, music and lots of beer.
The Calgary Oktoberfest started a couple years back and it is a fun and social event featuring many local craft beer, and authentic Bavarian breweries and food, along with authentic Oktoberfest music, dancers, games, and more in the Upper Big Four Building at Stampede Park. Every year the fest gets bigger and better. As Schnitzel has been many times to the actual Oktoberfest in Munich and has a lot of experiences with German fests, she was pretty excited to attend the Calgary Oktoberfest.
The fest was held on September 22 & 23rd. Previous to the event you were able to purchase tickets, drink vouchers, as well as an amazing Oktoberfest mug and hat online. It was also not just an evening event but started on Friday at 4pm and Saturday even earlier. That means you have all the time in the world to try out the different local craft beer and some authentic Bavarian breweries like the Fahr Brewery.
Once you step in the building you are welcomed by German music, the smell of beer as well the wonderful sight of traditional attire as some people dressed up in Dirndl and Lederhosen. It almost felt like being back home for Schnitzel. On the main stage the German band played, there was a German dancing group who performed couple times a day and also taught the Oktoberfest guest how to move their arms and legs to the music.
If you got hungry from all the dancing you were able to get some traditional fest food like Bratwurst with potato salad and Sauerkraut or a delicious snack, such as a Pretzel.
The set up on the upper concourse was set up with different "pavilions" which were sponsored by local gastro / restaurant / pubs. Where in each pavilion you had 8 different craft breweries set up with their best beer on tap. Yes the line ups were long for the most popular brews, how ever this gave us a chance to sample some of the not so mainstream beers. The drink vouchers were affordable ($4 / 8 oz), which is far more affordable then prices for a beer anywhere else. With more beer through out the course of the evening the more the crowd enjoyed the evening.
Every one was in a party mood and the later the evening the more people were on the dance floor. For those who liked it a little bit quieter there were beer benches everywhere and even a big screen where you were able to watch some Bundesliga games as well as some NHL hockey. All in all it's a fest to enjoy some amazing beer with your friends and get a feel for the Oktoberfest. We had the best time!
If you missed the Calgary Oktoberfest or can't get enough of beer, don't worry. This upcoming weekend September 29 & 30, 2017 Edmonton is hosting their Oktoberfest. If you love beer and Germany you should definitely head there. Prost!