Oktoberfest is a time-honored and treasured German tradition, a celebration of Bavarian history which, of course, includes beer, music, dancing, songs and delicious German foods.
While it wasn’t always known as Oktoberfest, this traditional folk festival is celebrated for up to 18 days in Munich. Oktoberfest managed to make its way around the world and throughout the US, and is enjoyed right here in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This is courtesy of Lancaster Liederkranz, the local German Cultural Club.
Many folks attended this annual event held in Manheim, Pennsylvania on September 16th, 17th, and 18th. Beer lovers and enthusiasts enjoyed a total of 155 kegs throughout the three-day event.
Families, friends, locals, and visitors came from near and far, many of whom were wearing the traditional outfits of Munich including lederhosen, a custom that has been adopted in many parts of the world.
There was dancing, singing, drinking, and merry-making, as well as new friendships forged. It was definitely a time for making memories.
Many club volunteers and guests were outfits that added a special touch to the event. On Sunday morning standing in line was local resident Rick, Long, who shared that his family had been some of the original immigrants who called this area their home.
Two young ladies attending the festivities were visiting here from Germany and wearing their authentic and festive attire. “ I am here from Bavaria” the guest shared.
Traditional Bavarian music and dancing are also popular at Oktoberfest festivals across the country. The local event featured a live band paying tribute to the heritage and culture of Germany through music and song, with several well-known and local favorites. There were also traditional dances, that were wonderful to watch.
One of the highlights was the delicious food offered from bratwurst, to knockwurst, [a true german staple] along with sauerkraut, applesauce, and potato pancakes. Additionally, there was a few variations including veal, chicken, and schnitzel which seem to be a crowd pleaser.
Various breweries and towns with a German history celebrate Oktoberfest, while it is estimated that nearly six million people have traveled to the official festival in Munich each year. Its traditional origins were the wedding celebration of the Bavarian Prince Ludwig who married Princess Therese- and the festival which lasted for days- then weeks, and eventually became a national holiday. One tent at the festival, was packed full of authentic clothing, beer steins, beer mugs, jewelry. and pins. This wonderful selection of lightly worn (donated and consigned) traditional wear from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland was definitely unique, offering a one of a kind item to add to your festive collection.
“This is so much fun”, said Dylan, the Director of DSC Productions, a local cinema production company. Dylan found a wonderful and beautifully decorated stein [which played music]—for only $12.00. “Now it’s time to go have some beers with my friend, with my new stein”, Dylan said while smiling.
The club’s mission is to keep German culture and traditions alive through hosting several events for the public throughout the year. If you missed Oktoberfest, or want to become a member, be sure to check out their website to learn about upcoming events.
The clubs members are passionate about the traditions and culture, many of who volunteered several days, setting up throughout the week in preparation and anticipation of the event, as well as during the event. Upon entering the event, you could hear the music, the clapping, and the cheers. “It felt like one big family coming together” said several attendees. This event is definitely a must-do and should be on your list for next year.