The origins of Oktoberfest

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October is here and in many places including, Priest River, we have Oktoberfest, but do you know the origination of it?

It all began on Oct. 12, 1810, when in Germany’s Bavaria, Prince Ludwig invited all of Muchen’s (Munich) residents to celebrate his wedding to Princess Therese on a grassy field outside the city’s gates. Since then, every year from the end of September through the first Sunday in October in honor of his bride, they celebrate 24/7.

It is the largest beer festival in the world. When I was stationed in France in 1961, we went there, in an open field. They construct temporary buildings, each holding about 5,000 people with an “um, pa, pa, “ band in the middle.

Of course, lots of German songs were being sung. The beer served then was one liter (about a quart) for 25 cents. Now they are about $6 or $8. Each waitress would carry about three in each hand and would wrap her hands around a couple more next to her stomach. To keep from getting intoxicated, you had to eat some greasy sausage, to line your stomach with grease, so the beer would just pass through you. I tried this and it worked!

For men to go to the bathroom, there was a special room, with like rain gutters around the room. You did your business (I don’t know where it went) and then to your hands, there was a portly German Frau in the middle of the room with a wash basin and a towel. Of course you tipped her. She was probably like a doctor or nurse. She had seen it all !!

ROGER GREGORY

Priest River

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