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Oktoberfest West Michigan

Thanks to all who came out last year!

The Edelweiss Club had a great time showing you a great time. You won't want to miss this year's Oktoberfest.

  • FREE PARKING, FREE ADMISSION
  • Noon to 11 pm both days
  • Continuous music and entertainment.
  • Join us under the big tent on the south lawn of John Ball Park
  • Featuring Erdinger Beer
  • Our Charity Partner. Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids. More Details....
    "Through the support of Oktoberfest , you are making it possible for Kids' Food Basket to bring four new schools this year so that we will attack childhood hunger in 32 elementary schools. This means that more than 4,800 food insecure children will receive an evening meal every weeknight"
  • We are hosting the largest known Alphorn Ensemble in the US
  • Click here for Opening Ceremonies information
  • WE NEED YOUR HELP! Become a Sponsor. More details....

NEWS RELEASE

Oktoberfest West Michigan
and Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids
raise $4000 for Kids Food Basket
Oktoberfest West Michigan and Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids raise $2000 for Kids Food Basket- Click on the photo to see a larger photo


Past West Michigan Oktoberfest Photo

You're bound to have a good time with all we have to offer you: a large beer tent featuring varieties of Erdinger Beer as well as other German beers and wines, authentic German food, hot dogs and root beer for the kids, great German bands, and our own Edelweiss Club and Sailors Ahoy choirs. Don't miss the opening ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, where a rare treat awaits you - four Alphom players thrill us with their distinctive music, that can be heard across mountains. Feeling competitive? Try your hand at the keg-tossing or stein-holding contests! Educate your taste buds at our wine-tasting events. Snag some Oktoberfest tee-shirts and beer mugs while you're at it Families welcome! Come visit with the animals at the zoo, then visit Oktoberfest for more kids' entertainment; We'll have clowns, carnival games with prizes, pumpkin decorating and face painting. There is no entrance fee, and no parking fee. Oktoberfest West Michigan is bigger and better than ever, so come on down and feel the gemuetlichkeit for yourself!

History of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest started in Bavaria (southern Germany) but has become loved all around the world as a celebration of good beer, good food, and warm camaraderie among friends. In 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12, and invited the citizens of Munich to their wedding celebration on the fields in front of the city gates. The party lasted 5 days, and the main event was a horse race. The second year, an agricultural show was added to promote local farmers. In 1818, a carousel and two swings were added, and the party-goers were entertained by games such as wheel-barrow and sack races, barrel-rolling races, mush-eating contests, and goose chases. About 50 years later, the first mechanical rides were featured, and soon after came beer halls, sponsored by local breweries. Eventually the festival became a two-week affair, and the starting date was changed to mid-September, to take advantage of better weather. The last horse race occurred in 1960, and now the agricultural show is put on only every four years.

Today, the Munich Oktoberfest is held on 103 acres filled with amusement rides, game booths, beer tents and gardens, and vendors selling souvenirs and a large variety of delicious German food. The party draws 6 million people every year, who spend 450 million euros on 1.5 million gallons of beer, 480,000 roasted chickens and 200,000 pairs of pork sausage. Impressive, too, is the Costume and Riflemen's Parade on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest, in which 7,000 people participate. Dressed in traditional Bavarian costume and historical uniforms, a huge procession of marching bands, riflemen, horses, carriages and floats makes its way through the center of Munich.

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