Why do we celebrate Oktoberfest? The Oktoberfest tradition dates back to October 12, 1810, when the Crown Prince of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Going against tradition, the couple invited the common folk of Munich to participate in the celebration. Over the next five days, 40,000 people celebrated their marriage on the fields in front of the city gates. The following year, they threw another party to honor the royal couples’ wedding anniversary. Since then, Oktoberfest has been celebrated year after year in countries around the world.
One of the largest celebrations in the U.S. takes place in Denver, Colorado. In 1969, Fred and Hertha Thomas honored the tradition by quietly tapping a keg in front of their Larimer Square café in Denver. The small Oktoberfest celebration grew, and now the six-day Denver Oktoberfest festival draws in 350,000 people every year! It’s described as “The Best Oktoberfest” and “One of the country’s biggest and longest running traditions” by Maxim Magazine and USA Today.
This year, the festival will take place over two weekends: September 18-20 and September 25-27. It’s located on Larimer Street between 22nd and 20th in historic Denver, Colorado. The event features live music, entertainment, authentic-food vendors, competitions, dancing and of course, endless amounts of beer!
Entrance to the festival is free, but you can purchase VIP tickets online.