The history of Oktoberfest hearkens back to 1810 in southern Germany, Bavaria. It was harvest time and townspeople and villagers were working hard to prepare for the upcoming winter months. During this time Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was to marry Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12th. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.
The event went off without a hitch with close to 40,000 people in attendance. The reception, as you can imagine, was one of the biggest parties history had ever seen with copious amounts of beer and massive quantities of food being devoured. At the end of the event, the prince decided it should conclude with horse racing, which was very popular with the people, across a great meadow which was later named Theresiewiese in honor of the event.
The next year it was decided to repeat the horse races which gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. An added feature to the horse races was the first Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture. And as time went on, more events and amusements were added such as carousels and beer tents.
Big Bear Celebrates
In 1969, German immigrants Hans and Erika Bandows moved to Big Bear from New York and purchased the Wawona Lodge. After a harsh winter and summer the Bandows decided to hold the very first Oktoberfest in Big Bear as a way of saying thank you to all of their new clients and the new friends who had welcomed them to Big Bear Lake. With authentic German food, beer, and music, the Bandows greeted their first guests and what would become a tradition for more than three decades, the first Oktoberfest in Big Bear Lake began.
Today the tradition continues. The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest has grown to be one of the largest and most authentic on the West Coast. The building is bigger, the band is bigger, there is even more food and beer. We hope everyone can come and enjoy the festivities of this years Oktoberfest!
For those needing a place to stay, please contact Northwoods Resorts today!