Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, and has grown into the largest People’s Fair in the world, with around 6 million visitors expected to attend the event which lasts for 16 days. Renowned for its Oompah bands, traditional food, and very unusual clothing it is also famous for the huge quantities of beer that are consumed. With 16 being the legal age for drinking beer in Germany it perhaps isn’t surprising that it generates a multi-million pound revenue for the businesses involved. Unfortunately it also results in a lot of bierleichens or ‘beer corpses’ which can be found lying around outside the tents, or inside and asleep on the tables! Apart from the main events in the tents there are also fairground rides and attractions, and on both Tuesdays of the Oktoberfest prices on rides and games are lowered so younger visitors can get a (non-alcholic) taste of the excitement.
The fair has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants. The festival in Hanover also usually lasts 16 days and features 160 rides and inns, two large beer tents seating more than a thousand people each, and numerous stands offering traditional refreshments. With more than one million visitors each year, it is the third largest Oktoberfest in the world. Outside of Germany the biggest festival is regarded as being in Canada, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario. This is followed by Blumenau in Brazil, then Cincinnati, Ohio and Denver, Colorado. With festivals also being organised in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, India, Palestine and Vietnam it means beer lovers can combine the fun of an Oktoberfest with their world travels!