For many people in the U.S. Oktoberfest is simply the time of year when we indulge in German beer, brats and have license to look a bit silly dancing the polka. In the Phoenix area, you can find Oktoberfest celebrations in the East Valley, West Valley, Scottsdale, Central Phoenix, North Phoenix and even on a train. My guess is that most of us probably aren't more than 30 minutes away from some Oktoberfest gathering!
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The About.com German Language site includes this explanation: "On the 12th day of October , Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I of Bavaria) wed Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and held a big party near Munich (München). It was so popular, that the party (complete with horse racing) took place again the following year, prompting the start of a traditional German celebration that has become world famous."
Just like the official celebration in Germany, the fun starts now, in September, and continues into October. In Munich, the dates for 2013 are September 21 though October 6, 2013. Here, the beer will keep flowing for another week after that!
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