By Kieva McLaughlin
Oktoberfest has come to a close for another year in Dublin. The German copycat festival saw more people than ever before this year, with thousands of people heading down to George’s Dock over the last three weeks for Bavarian food, music, and most importantly, lots and lots of German beer.
As you walked into Oktoberfest the smell of food is overwhelming and almost everyone is holding a huge tankard of beer. There was a Bavarian band playing with a supporting DJ, both playing traditional German music along with more recent hits. There were many stands scattered around the event such as the charitable ‘Movember’ and there were also competitions including ‘who could hang from a pole the longest?’
The lower area which had queues as long as two hours to get inside, was made up of bars, a dance floor, and long wooden benches. The queue stopped it from getting too over crowded but they might want to consider investing in a bigger area for next year because it is not yet coveted enough to warrant a two hour queue.
Oktoberfest began in Munich in 1810. When King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Hidburghausen, he invited all of the citizens of Munich to the festivities. When the celebrations were repeated in 1811 it started the annual festival we now know as Oktoberfest.
Sandra Niederloehner, a Munich native and a worker at Dublin’s Oktoberfest, describes the celebration as the biggest festival in Germany. “It’s an event I’ve gone to every year, for as long as I can remember. All my friends and family are there, it’s a tradition in Munich.”
Dublin’s Oktoberfest is an over-21 event, so it is not the family affair they have in Munich.
“In Germany it is much bigger so there’s a lot more things families can get involved in. We have carnivals and fun days and there is special days allocated just for families with children,” explained Sandra.
This year’s festival in Dublin had a lot of themed nights including, a ‘Monday: Industry’ encouraging people to come after work, a ‘Pink Tuesday’ celebrating gay pride and LGBTQ rights and a ‘Wacky Wednesday’ where everyone was encouraged to dress up. Traditionally in Munich everyone wears traditional Bavarian costumes but that trend has still not caught up with the Irish with only a few daring to wear the suspenders, long socks and little dresses, formally known as ‘lederhose and dirndl dresses’.