The History of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a traditional Bavarian Volksfest, or “people’s festival” held in Munich every year since Crown Prince, later King, Ludwig married Therese of Saxony-Hildburgausen on October 12, 1810. This royal wedding was celebrated with days of drinking, eating, horse races, and more. In 1811, the horse races were celebrated again, which began 200+ years of celebrating Bavarian culture with traditional food, beer, and music being the main attractions. While it has been cancelled several times due to war, disease, financial crisis, etc., the tradition of Oktoberfest is an integral part of Bavarian culture.

O’zapft Is! “It’s Tapped!”

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest in Munich

This statement is a crucial part of the ceremonial opening of Oktoberfest in Munich. At noon on the first day of the festival, the Mayor of Munich, after a 12-gun salute, taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer to open the festival. The Minister-President of the State of Bavaria is given the honor of the first beer and Oktoberfest officially begins. The steins are filled, the brats are cooked, and the polka music begins.

 Where to Go in Tampa

Are you wondering where you can find an Oktoberfest celebration here in the Tampa area? We’ve got you covered. From breweries to racetracks, there are several places where you can take part and drink a stein of Marzen Lager or Festbier while listening to the music of Bavaria. These events are all a short drive from both Compton Place and The Landings at Cypress Meadows. Put on your dirndls and lederhosen and get to these festivals!

Six Ten Brewing

Six Ten Brewing Company logo

Six Ten Brewing Company hosts their Oktoberfest from October 19- October 23 starting at 3pm. They are serving traditional German beer and food. Visit their Facebook event page to learn more!

Starkey Market

Starkey Market
Source: Yelp

From October 21-23, Starkey Market hosts a family-friendly Oktoberfest. While you will find traditional Bavarian beer, food, and live music, you’ll also find incredible events. There are games and contests for adults and children alike. Show your muscles with a keg throwing event or stein holding event. This event is $10 per day, with a $5 savings when purchasing a 3-day ticket.

Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs Racetrack
Source: Yelp

Horse racing was a part of the first incarnations of Oktoberfest and Tampa Bay Downs pays homage to that with their festival. Celebrate with the whole family with German food, beer, music, and dancing. Enjoy the Arts & Crafts section, visit the carnival, and take part in the contests. Log sawing, stein holding, and keg throwing are among the fun events! $5 admission for anyone 13 and older, with free admission to anyone 12 and under or people with a Military ID.

Please Remember

While all these events are family friendly, some events may not allow children in certain places or after certain hours. Not only that, but Oktoberfest is traditionally a beer drinking festival. If you plan on drinking, please plan your trip responsibly and have a designated driver or take a cab to the events.