Octoberfest… in September?
Each year, Pittsburgh’s own Greentree borough hosts the popular fall festival called “Octoberfest”. The weekend-long festival was held last weekend, September 19-20, and was considered a huge success. There were activities like the annual Car Cruise, free train rides, and even a Chili Cookoff Contest. But Octoberfest wasn’t always like this; in fact, it wasn’t even spelled the same way.
Greentree’s Octoberfest is based off of the old German tradition called Oktoberfest, from the 1800’s. On October 12, 1810, Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich, Germany. The people of Munich were invited to celebrate in the festivities, and participated in large horse races. The next year, as an anniversary, the first Agricultural show was added to the celebration. This trend continued, as more and more activities were added to the list of festivities. Eventually, the cultural carnival made its way across the ocean to the United States through the German pilgrims, where it continues to thrive to this day, such as in Greentree.
While there were no weddings or horse races at Greentree’s recently passed festival, there were indeed pony wagon rides, a petting zoo, a stage with live performances complete with haystack bleachers, and even a visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pirate Parrot. The weekend was filled with dog shows, a KO Marching Band performance, and fireworks to finish up the weekend fun for all.
Many students shared their favorite moments from the weekend.
“I liked performing on the field and being with the band,” sophomore Danika Brasche shared.
“To be honest the drumline and its drum break sounded… hot,” senior Brody Hay told The Keynote.
Freshman Zack Bradley quickly said, “The one booth with the parrots and the dog show were both really cool.”
But likely the biggest question confusing many people is, why is Octoberfest in the middle of September? To answer that, one must look back at the history of the festival. Recent years’ were held in October, which provided many problems regarding weather. Last year, for example, the rain made the event a near-disaster. Also, the warm weather provides the enjoyment of the warm outdoors before the bitter cold months of fall and winter approach, allowing farmers to sell double the amount of homegrown produce.
While Octoberfest may be a passed down celebration, Mother Nature is something no one can control. Let’s just hope next year’s weather is as good to the festival as it was this year. Getränk!