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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015

Don your dirndl and join us for Oktoberfest!

Did you know that the official start of Oktoberfest is in September?

Oktoberfest traditionally starts the third weekend of September, and Westminster at Lake Ridge will be celebrating this 200-year-old tradition from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept 19.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the Kings Park German Band will perform in the Potomac Room, where a dance floor will be set up. Heavy appetizers, desserts and German beer and wine will be served for residents and friends of the retirement community to enjoy.

Oktoberfest originated in Munich in 1810 with a festival that celebrated the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. It began with the royal wedding on October 12, 1810 and ended October 17 with horse races in a meadow in front of the city gates. The couple invited the citizens of Bavaria to join the festivities.

It must have been a whole lot of fun, because the festival continued the following year and soon became a Bavarian tradition. In 1811, an agricultural show—a farmer’s market, if you will—was added to the roster. Later, more amusements, including a carousel and swings, were set up.

In 1818, small beer stands served local brews to festival goers. These were, understandably, very popular, and they rapidly grew in number. By 1896, beer tents and halls sponsored by breweries had replaced the beer stands, and the festival had sealed its place in German life to celebrate gemutlichkeit, or comfort, peace and acceptance.

As you can imagine, it’s starting to get cold in Germany in October. So by the time the festival solidified into a regular event with a permanent home on Munich’s fairgrounds, the city fathers moved up the starting date of the festival to September, when evenings were a bit warmer. The festivities continued through the beginning of October.

This year’s Oktoberfest in Munich is scheduled to start September 19, when the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of beer, and end October 4.

The celebration at Westminster at Lake Ridge won’t last that long, but it will be just as much fun! Visitors will be raising their glasses and toasting each other with the traditional “prost!”—German for “cheers!”

Come on out and join us as we sing, dance, enjoy traditional German food and beverages and honor this enjoyable fall custom!

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