What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest, a beer festival and traveling funfair. This event is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and lasts 16 days. This folk festival begins towards the end of September and lasts until the first weekend of October. More than 6 million people from around the world come to attend this festival every year. Oktoberfest began in 1810 and is a very important part of the Bavarian culture. Other Oktoberfests are held around the world and are all modeled after the original one held in Munich.


This world reknown festival originated on October 12, 1810 when Crown Price Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. They invited the citizens of Munich to attend festivities at the fields by the city gates to celebrate their marriage. Horse races marked the end of the event for the celebration of the Royal Family and it was then decided to continue this tradition into the next year. Little did they know, in years to come, this celebration festival would become an annual tradition around the world. Agricultural Shows and horse races became popular events when the festival first evolved, with Agricultural Shows continuing to be held every three years. Amusements slowly became popular with few carousels and swings, then grew to be known as a fun-fair. Along with amusements the introduction of small beer stands were introduced, which rapidly grew to beer tents and beer halls because they became so popular.

Oktoberfest is known for the large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer that are served and the traditional, popular German dishes. Many individuals look forward to Hendl (roasted chicken), Schweinebraten (roasted pork), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) Brezen (pretzels), Knödel (potato or breaded dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheesebutter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage) that are served during this 16 day festival. Along with the popular foods and drinks, visitors enjoy attractions, amusement rides and games.

We here at Family and MWR host an annual Oktoberfest and want to bring a little piece of German tradition right into your very own backyard. We thought this would be a great way to let families unwind, spend time together and enjoy some German traditions. We strive to make every minute of your time  here in the Carlisle area enjoyable, and we want to kick the autumn season off right by inviting you to our annual Oktoberfest.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation exists to enhance the quality of life, enrich living and working environments and foster a sense of community for Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians. Since 2008, Carlisle Barracks has hosted Oktoberfest. This is a great opportunity for the military community to interact with the public in a positive and fun venue. Many service members have spent countless tours of duty in Germany and reflect fondly on their time aboard. We give back to our Soldiers and Families a quality of life that they have pledged to defend for us all.

Oktoberfest this year will be held at The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) on October 8-11, 2015. There will be fun for all ages. Please join Carlisle Barracks for a good time filled with entertainment, games, activities, friendship and the tapping of the Official War College Brew. There is ample parking on site and handicapped and auxiliary parking if needed. While at the event, you can treat yourself to a variety of foods provided by numerous vendors, beer and wine gardens or even enjoy the many artisans and crafts.

Date: October 8-11, 2015, Open to the public and admission is FREE

When: Thursday, 4-9pm

       Friday, 4-9pm

      Saturday, 11am-9pm

      Sunday, Noon-7pm

Location: The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013-5021

What to Bring: Comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothes are highly recommended

What not to Bring: Aggressive pets, bicycles, weapons, illegal drugs or personal alcoholic beverages are not permitted at Oktoberfest

For more information visit our Oktoberfest webpage, www. carlisleoktoberfest.com

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