Oktoberfest: A Fun Family Tradition for Over 314 Years


Photo: theatlantic.com

For the last 35 years Saint Martin’s has held an annual Oktoberfest/fundraiser in the city of Yorba Linda.  “I began attending in 1973 as a child and now I am back with my husband and two boys,” Mary Jansen, a Yorba Linda resident  stated. Other churches and organizations in the area also hold Oktoberfest.  So what actually is an Oktoberfest?

“Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany,” according to germanclubsandiego.org.  This festival is held for 16 days running from late September to the first weekend in October.  “A twelve gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer opens the festival,” according to the Saint Martin church website.“It is estimated that over 6 million people from around the world attend every year.”

In Germany it is called Wiesn which means fairgrounds.  While the Saint Martin’s festival is 35 years old the actual German Oktoberfest is 314 years old.  Most celebrations are modeled after the German event.

“In Munich large quantities of beer are consumed with almost 7 million liters served each year during the 16 day festival,” reported the Saint Martin Church. “Visitors can enjoy a mixture of attractions such as rides, carnival games, and food.”   Traditional German food is offered for sale and visitors will find such food as Hendl (roast chicken), Scheinebraten (roast pork), and Wurstl (sausages) to name a few specialties.

While the Saint Martin festival is called Oktoberfest it is actually closer to a normal carnival.  However, if you are interested in a more authentic celebration, the Phoenix Club in Anaheim is a German restaurant/pub that holds a more realistic Oktoberfest each year.  David K state,s “I really enjoy the great Oktoberfest festivity by the German Phoenix Club in Anaheim.  It was not a surprise to see that everything was done to perfection, according to the German tradition, including the music.”