By Hill Crawford, DVI Intern
Oktoberfest is festival where beer flows freely, food is in abundance and spirits are high. The festivities begin in late September and run through the beginning of October. This world-famous event has a rich history with its roots planted in the town of Munich, Germany. An average of six million people visit Germany each year to join in the festivities. It is said the same number of kegs are consumed by festival goers!
Next Wednesday, at the third-annual Oktoberfest @ Art Walk, we’re excited to once again present Jacksonville’s version of this long-standing festival Downtown. Below, get schooled on the traditions of Oktoberfest and how we plan to “Art Walk” them up Oct. 7!
Germany: The mayor of Munich taps the first keg exclaiming, “O’zapft is!” (It is tapped!) This proclamation marks the start of the shenanigans, and everyone in the massive beer tents are immediately encouraged to quench their thirst with a frosty stein.
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: This year, the tapping of the keg ceremony will be performed at 6 p.m. with Mayor Lenny Curry and members of Bold City Brewery. Host Curtis Dvorak, First Coast Living correspondent and former Jaxson de Ville mascot, is sure to get the party started in true Jacksonville style!
Germany: Traditional Bavarian style music is a crowd favorite! Oompah is the tunes of choice for those that gather at Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: A live Oompah band will grace the stage at Hemming Park. The Jacksonville Landing will also hosts traditional Oompah music with One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band on the venue’s front steps!
Germany: The traditional get-up for Oktoberfest is a dirndl (ladies) and lederhosen (gents). These garments have been worn every year since the festival’s beginning in the early 1800s. Remember ladies: the way you tie your dirndl matters! A dirndl tied to the left means your single, and a dirndl tied to the right means your married or in a relationship.
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: Who doesn’t love to dress up? Oktoberfest @ Art Walk is a great excuse to join in the merriment and put on traditional Bavarian outfit. Dust off your dirndl or lederhosen, and make your way Downtown! Don’t be the only one without the proper partying attire.
Germany: No Oktoberfest would be complete without beer! Kegs and kegs of beer. In Munich, the beer-drinking festivities continue for more than two weeks and, during this time, millions of beers are consumed. Munich has served the same style beers since the festival’s origin. All of these beers are brewed from six different breweries, and the kegs don’t stop flowing until the final day of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: There will be no exception to this tradition during Art Walk with an authentic biergarten stocked with an assortment of German-style beers from Bold City Brewery, Spaten, Tucher, Aardwof Brewery and more. Cheers! Or “prost” as those in Munich say! Don’t forget to BYOS (bring your own stein) to receive a $1 off.
Germany: Oktoberfest is not only known for the plenty of beer, but also the assortment of foods: sausages, pretzels and pastries galore!
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: The smells of German foods are sure to excite your taste buds! Get ready to sink your teeth into authentic style cuisine from local restaurants and vendors. Plus, a VIP tent ($35 per person) will offer unlimited beers and food provided by Burrito Gallery next to Hemming Park’s main stage.
Germany: Oktoberfest is home to drinking and merriment. However, it doesn’t stop with just food and drink! Carnival rides and games are also a part of the traditional festivities, as well as a kinderfest zone for the kids!
Oktoberfest @ Art Walk: Don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten about your little ones. Art Walk’s kinderfest zone hosts a pretzel-necklace making station and Imagination Playground. And the carnival zone will be open to all ages with fun for the whole family. Plus, The Landing will provide endless fun with a free pumpkin patch and hay rolling!
Of course, we can’t forget about the ART in Art Walk! Hemming Park is always Art Walk headquarters, where dozens of artists to showcase their creations. Be sure to check out the abundance of local art in the park, on display down Laura Street, and inside our 50+ participating venues.
So make plans to grab a frosty stein and toast to great art, music and German culture, all wrapped into one fun-filled, extended Art Walk night. Check out the full details at www.iloveartwalk.com.