Denver loves beer and breweries. Micro breweries have grown in popularity nationwide, Denver ranks high in best American cities for beer, alongside cities like Portland and St. Louis.
Oktoberfest began in 1810 in Munich, celebrating the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Phew. That was a mouthful! The couple invited the “common folk” of Munich to the wedding’s festivities, not a common act for royalty. Forty thousand people attended the celebration. The next year, in celebration of the couple’s anniversary, the party was thrown again…and again, and again.
The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12. Since then it has come to start towards the end of September, extending through the beginning of October. While this has caused confusion for some, as the name of the festival does insinuate it should happen in the month related to its name, the reasoning is understandable. Festival-goers preferred (and still prefer!) the typically warmer weather of late September to the possibly snowy and colder temperatures of mid-October.
Oktoberfest came to Denver in 1969, courtesy of Larimer Square shop owners, Fred and Hertha Thomas. The German holiday was a favorite tradition of the couple, and in its honor they opened a keg, set out some pretzels and celebrated with folks passing by.
Denver Oktoberfest is no longer a quaint and quiet tradition, but has grown to be one of the biggest Oktoberfest festivals in the United States. As the Denver Oktoberfest website says, “Denver drinks beer really well.”
Denver’s main Oktoberfest celebration still happens on Larimer, at 20th and Larimer Street. It starts this
weekend, on Friday evening, through Sunday afternoon, picking up again next weekend. The complete schedule can be viewed here:
There are a number of smaller Oktoberfest celebrations happening around the city and state, including Highlands Ranch, S. Pearl Street in Denver and more.
Fun and games are promised, beer is brewed and delicious, Oktoberfest is here.