Oktoberfest set for return to Princes St Gardens

THE Oktoberfest event is coming back to Edinburgh for a long weekend at Princes Street Gardens West, organisers have announced.

Saturday, 6th August 2016, 1:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th August 2016, 3:03 pm
Happy customers at last year's Oktoberfest. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Happy customers at last year's Oktoberfest. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

Those behind the World Wide Oktoberfest say they plan to stage the Capital event from October 5-9.

It will feature a giant marquee with capacity for 1500, German bands entertaining guests and, naturally, plenty of beer.

“Oktoberfest is becoming a tradition of the Capital, it is the fourth year the people of Edinburgh have celebrated this fun and merry festival,” a spokesman said.

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“One thing the Scottish and the Germans have in common is the joy of life with a nice beer, so Oktoberfest is a perfect place to meet.”

Oktoberfest, first held in the city of Munich, has been an annual celebration of German culture for more than 200 years, combining beer, food and music into one big Bavarian bonanza.

Events modelled around the original Munich festival – which attracts around seven million people a year – now take place in the likes of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Along with the all important beer – Bavarian Festbeer which is brewed according to German purity law – traditional dishes will be on offer for guests to try.

Guests are advised to taste schnitzel (deep-fried pork cutlet), pretzel (twist-knot bread), händel (grilled chicken) and schweinebraten (roast pork). Vegetarian options will also be available on request.

On the Sunday, a special lunch is being prepared for families to enjoy a traditional dining experience.

And if you really want to get into the swing of things, there’s also the option of getting gussied up in some traditional German clothing.

Both lederhosen and dirndl dresses will be available to buy or rent.

The first Oktoberfest was a celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, which took place on October 12, 1810. Everyone in Munich was invited to gather in fields at the city gates to join the celebrations.

The fields were renamed Theresienwiese, which means Therese’s Fields, in honour of the new princess.

The title was abbreviated to “Wiesn” over the years, which is also how locals refer to the festival now.

When it returned in 1811 it was billed as an agricultural show, and also held horse races to keep revellers entertained. Over the years fairground attractions and beer tents were added, bringing the festival closer to the event we see today.

n Edinburgh Oktoberfest will be open from October 5-9 at Princes Street Gardens West. The event is for ages 18-plus, except for Sunday when children are allowed in free. Entrance is free on Wednesday, £5 on Thursday and Sunday and £10 on Friday and Saturday.