First Oktoberfest took place 5 days after their wedding on October 12, 1810. King Ludwig I and Princess Therese There was a horse race to celebrate the wedding. 40,000 citizens of Munich were invited to attend. It was such a success that they decided to celebrate again in 1811. The 16-day festival begins with a parade. All of the featured breweries have elaborate beer wagons that wind through Munich to the Theresienwiese. Many of the Oktoberfest horses only work once a year! Each brewery arrives with full barrels of beer that are then taken into the tents, tapped, emptied, and returned to the wagons. Ludwig gave Princess Therese a large meadow as a wedding present; this is where the first horse race took place. Now, the “meadow” is engulfed by a teeming mass of millions of people during the 16-day festival. During the off-season, the Theresienwiese looks desolate. Building of the beer tents begins as early as June and July. There are 14 major beer tents on the Theresienwiese. The largest tent seats almost 10,000! Every time a keg is tapped in the Löwenbräu tent, the lion outside roars. The “tents” that belong to the major breweries hold up to 10,000 people! The Lord Mayor must tap the first keg in the Schottenhamel tent before any other kegs can be tapped. When he is successful (and he must do it in 3 strokes of the mallet), he exclaims, “O’Zapft ist!” which means “It’s tapped!” Ein Mass Bier - One Liter of Beer Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Kartoffeln und Brezeln Bratwurst, Sauerkraut und zwei Bier Brezeln, ein paar Würstchen, Sauerkraut und ein Bier Viele Hühner! Spit-roasted Oxen STECKERLFISCH – Fish-on-a-stick Giant pretzels are a staple of every Oktoberfest diet! They are served with mustard and a Mass in most tents.