The great German tradition of Oktoberfest comes to C.ex Coffs this month. Entertainment Manager Shona Hunter tells us more …
> What’s the story / history behind Oktoberfest?
When Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married his beloved princess Therese in the fields in front of the town gates of Munich on October 12, 1810, he would have had no idea that his love would spawn the beer drinking, clog stomping, polka dancing phenomenon Oktoberfest.
The original ‘Oktoberfest’ occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810, commemorating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The original Oktoberfest included a great horse race.
Since its inception in 1810, Oktoberfest Festivals have been celebrated all across the world during the months of September and October. The biggest festival, the original Munich Oktoberfest Festival, runs over a massive 16 days, at the fairgrounds called ‘Wiesn’ (‘meadow), which are located at the foot of the Bavaria statue in the city of Munich situated in Bavaria in Germany.
Traditionally the Lord Mayor of Munich declares the festival open by proclaiming “O‘zapft is!” – “the barrel is tapped!” after the first cask of beer is tapped at noon on the first day of the event. The festival records almost 6 million visitors and a huge 5.7 million litres of beer consumed on average each year for the duration of the festival.
This year Oktoberfest is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The festival traditionally includes a celebration of German and Bavarian food, beer, German costumes and traditional dance and music, including the delightful sounds of the Oompah Band.
> C.ex is hosting a big event for Oktoberfest this year. Tell us about it.
C.ex Coffs will be helping celebrate the special 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest by putting on a beer hall style buffet and show.
Entry price into the show includes a 2 course authentic German buffet, entertainment by Oompah band ‘Melodion’, German beer and fun games to play.
The buffet includes traditional German fare such as goulash soup, crumbed pork schnitzel, Bratwurst sausages, pickled pork knuckles, veal schnitzels, German meatloaf, Sauerkraut and more. The desserts include apple strudel, Black Forest torte and a selection of German pastries.
> What are some of the entertainment and competitions that you have lined up?
There will be a yodelling competition of course, a pretzel eating competition and some other traditional Oktoberfest games, as well as prizes for best dressed. Prizes will include club vouchers and some fun traditional prizes.
The band playing, ‘Melodion’, are travelling down from sunny Queensland, although the members of the band originally hail from Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Lithuania – a real mix of European cultures.
Between them they have vast experience, having played at Oktoberfest all over Australia and entertaining crowds in Melbourne, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and Mt Isa, and they are arguably the best German Band in Australia.
Their music is traditionally German and includes cowbell ringing, yodelling and a floorshow, all in full authentic German Dress.
This year the German and Austrian Association of Coffs Harbour are involved and have a large group attending the night – which will add to the atmosphere, because they love having a great time.
> We hear the staff at C.ex go all out for the occasion …
We dress the staff up in lederhosen for the night, so that they really look the part and get into the spirit of Oktoberfest. We also dress the room up to look like an authentic German beer hall, which adds to the atmosphere.
> How can people get involved with this year’s event?
People wishing to attend the special Oktoberfest bicentenary buffet and show can purchase tickets at C.ex Coffs or over the phone (02) 6652 3888. Tickets are $25.90 or $9.90 for kids under 15.
> Thank you Shona.