When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

Octoberfest 2007

We are back in Munich, this time for Octoberfest.  The largest beer party in the world!  It is held annually in a fairgrounds in the last half of September (not October).  It starts with parades on the opening Saturday and Sunday and then continues for the next two weeks at the fairgrounds.  The tradition started when the Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese on the 12th of October in 1810 and there was a big party to celebrate the marriage.




Each of the parades leads off with a local girl representing the city of Munich.  The name means monk and the girl is dressed as a monk.  (Yes, I know "monks" are men but she is better looking.)













On Saturday the various local brewers, and there are several, put beer wagons, bands, and groups of waitresses in colorful costumes in the parade.  And various government officials get to ride in carriages.  This lasts for about 2 hours

The horses pulling the wagons are huge and decorated with harnesses covered with chrome, brass, ribbons and bells.
























The Sunday parade includes the same brewery sponsored floats from Saturday but now there are marching bands and costumed walkers from various regions of Bavaria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and even one from Chico, California, USA.  This parade is 3 times longer than Saturday's with the hundred or so additional groups.  We arrived early both days and got a place on the curb.  That means we stood for almost five hours to see it all, and it was worth it.



















Not everyone made it through the whole parade!










Love those dirndls (guys, that the dress she's wearing, not what you think!)














The opening weekend was dry, sunny and warm and we were sure the fairgrounds would be packed, so we didn't go then.  We wandered around Munich, had a beer in a beer garden (or two).  During Oktoberfest the famous beer is serves in a Masse, a one liter (a little larger than a quart) beer stein.  We went to the festival grounds on Monday.  It was busy, but one could get a seat in a beer hall tent.  The grounds are a combination of state fair, carnival, and several giant taverns.




This is a merry-go-round for grown-ups, it is a bar, and it goes round and round!

If you feel dizzy, maybe you haven’t had too many.  It’s the bar that is going round!








The beer tents are huge.  They have a band and lots of trestle tables and benches, often pushed so close together that you must walk on the bench to get to an interior seat.








Yes the girls can really carry that much beer.

Those are liter mugs and the mugs are very heavy even without the beer.













There was impromptu entertainment too.











A good time was had by all.  But I think once is enough of these crowds.  (That is sausage and sauerkraut in front of us.)

(We saw more than one group of young men who were having a good time.  You could tell they had had more than one beer and it is only 9:00 in the morning.)

From here we go to the Alps.