The Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati Festival is an outdoor event held in downtown Cincinnati that showcases the prolific German heritage of the region. Dozens of vendors showcase off traditional German food and beer, and numerous bands and artists perform German-style music. It is North America’s largest Oktoberfest.
Modeled after the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, the event had its origins in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The party was deemed such a success that it was repeated two years later at a royal wedding, which later burgeoned into an annual two-week open-air festival celebrating the fall harvest and season.(1)(3)
During the two-week event in Germany, over seven million visitors drink 14 million liters of beer, and consume over hundreds of thousands of pork sausages, roasted chickens and roasted pork knuckles.(1)(3)
In 1976, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati began as a block party near Fountain Square to attract more visitors to downtown and to celebrate Cincinnati’s historic German heritage.(2) For 2008, there were five stages of entrainment and a large tent equipped with flat screen televisions and WiFi Internet access for an event that stretched for six blocks, from 5th and Race streets to Broadway. Activities included the world’s largest chicken dance, the Enzian Dancers, and over a dozen bands and performers. Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati has since become the world’s second-largest authentic Oktoberfest.(1)(3)
- Tolzmann, Don. “History of Oktoberfest.” Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. 22 Sept. 2008 Article.
- Tolzmann, Don. “Annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is Steeped in Tradition.” Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. 22 Sept. 2008 Article.
- Knippenberg, Jim. “Oktoberfest: German Woodstock.” Cincinnati Enquirer 19 Sept. 2008. 22 Sept. 2008 Article.