What is the best way to get a jump on all the other Oktoberfest celebrations? Hold yours in September!
Harbour Grille in the Shoppes at Grand Harbour and Camana Bay are hosting their Oktoberfests this Saturday with entertainment, food and drink specials aplenty to get you in the Bavarian spirit.
It all begins at noon and won’t stop until close. There will be hourly games running throughout the day which can garner lucky participants some great prizes. Whether your forte is barrel rolling, stein holding, eating bratwurst competition-style, blowing an Alpine horn or stacking kegs, there is something here for everyone. Just because you weren’t good at sports doesn’t mean you can’t excel at some of these unique games.
Oktoberfest food is on the menu (soft pretzels, anyone?) and what would such a party be without draft beer to go in those steins? And speaking of which, a party isn’t a party without music. The Neverines band will start playing at 8 p.m. so loosen your lederhosen and prepare to dance.
Bands like Sugardaddi and Dr. Bob’s Experiment will be playing at the event, and the festivities begin at 3 p.m. There will be family-friendly activities, games, a dunk tank, best-dressed competition and raffle prizes. There is a $10 entry cost and all proceeds benefit the Special Needs Foundation.
Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Oktoberfest in Munich; and guess what? The first fact explains the timing of the Harbour Grille and Camana Bay events.
The name is misleading, probably to mess with foreigners, because Oktoberfest is in September, for the most part.
The festival started its illustrious career in 1810, the same year the U.S. annexed the Republic of West Florida, if that helps give you an idea of how far back it goes.
Oktoberfest started as a wedding, and a dry one at that. It was essentially a way to let the poor people celebrate the nuptials of Ludwig von Bayern, the King of Bavaria, and princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Also, it kicked off with a royal horse race.
Since 1950, each Oktoberfest begins with a parade of extravagantly decorated horses pulling kegs, as well as carriages full of waiters, staff, and tent owners. At noon on the first Saturday, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg of special Oktoberfest brew and yells “O’zapft ist!” – Bavarian for “it’s tapped” – before 12 ceremonial shots are fired, signaling to tents across the fest that beer can finally be served. Locals line up as early as 6 a.m.
Experienced bartenders only need about 1.5 seconds to fill a mass (liter stein) with beer.
People drank 7.7 million masses (remember, liters) of beer in 2014. That’s 2,034,125 gallons, downed in 16 days. This year, one mass of beer will cost more than $13.
One mass of Oktoberfest beer is the equivalent of eight shots of Schnapps. It is specially brewed by Munich’s finest breweries for the occasion and is about 1.3 percent stronger than your average draft suds.
It is not just about beer – food is huge too. There are 140 restaurants and food stands this year, serving everything from authentic fish sticks (like, literally, an entire fish on a stick), to schnitzel sandwiches and candy apples.
Forget wurst – roast chicken is the most popular Oktoberfest food. Around 482,361 roast chickens are devoured per Oktoberfest, compared to only 112,772 pairs of pork sausage.
Oktoberfest has its very own, pop-up post office, and, apparently, 130,000 postcards and gifts were sent from it last year.
Lost and found collects around 5,000 items each year, and pretty much every year they find a pair of teeth. Wedding rings also seem to get surprisingly loose during Oktoberfest.
Around 130,000 steins are stolen each year, or that many attempts are made, at least, as the bulky mugs are easily identified by security.
For more information on the local events this Saturday, visit the Facebook page for Harbour Grille and www.camanabay.com/event, respectively.