Gold Coast welcomes inaugural Oktoberfest

TIARNI REID

Gold Coast residents will soon get a healthy dose of German culture when Oktoberfest is celebrated locally for the first time.

Oktoberfest on the Coast

Gold Coast locals will get a taste of Oktoberfest for the first time this October, beer, lederhosen and all. Photo: Courtesy MartyK Photography

 

The one-day event, which will be held at the Gold Coast Sports Precinct in Carrara on October 5, marks the 209th anniversary of the famous German festival.

Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration more than 200 years ago when Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810.

The wedding was celebrated with several days of drinking, feasting and horse races.

As the festivities were so popular, the event was continued annually, evolving into what is now known as Oktoberfest.

The Gold Coast’s version of the event is run by “Oktoberfest on the Coast”, which has run an Oktoberfest event on the Sunshine Coast for the past two years.

Oktoberfest on the Coast owner and director Todd Forrest said the organisation had had great success celebrating the festival on the Sunshine Coast, which had lead them to bring the event to the Gold Coast as well this year.

“Both the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast have a large German population base, so I felt that it would be a great idea to celebrate something that’s celebrated in Germany every year,” Mr Forrest said.

Mr Forrest said it was important to share German culture with the Gold Coast population.

“I think its great to celebrate multiculturalism,” he said.

“It’s a really great way to bring a community together.”

“My reasoning [for starting the event] was to get people together over food and beer, and have some fun.”

Oktoberfest on the Coast

Oktoberfest participants are encouraged to dress in traditional German costumes to celebrate German culture. Photo: Courtesy MartyK Photography

 

The festival will offer more than 15,000 litres of beer, along with traditional food and activities, including entertainment from authentic Bavarian artists and dancers from the Brisbane German Club.

Mr Forrest said Oktoberfest on the Coast attendees could sample many authentic German foods including bratwurst, pretzels and schnitzel burgers, along with a large variety of German beers.

Mr Forrest said the festival aimed to sustain the authentic cultural values of the event.

“We try and keep all our food very traditional,” he said.

“We don’t sell pizzas and Thai… we really try to stay as traditional as we can with our food and drinks.”

“It’s not just an excuse to have a party, it’s heritage and tradition.”

Mr Forrest said he believed the festival was a great excuse to catch up with family and friends.

“I think it’s a great event to round up some friends, maybe that you haven’t seen in a while, and have a good time over a big communal table at an affordable price,” he said.

“It’s going to be a great day of food and drinking.”

Southport resident Adam Creighton said he was excited to participate in Oktoberfest on the Gold Coast.

“I went to Oktoberfest in Germany in Munich, and that was really fun,” Mr Creighton said.

“It was a huge festival,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s something similar to that, but on the Gold Coast.”

Oktoberfest on the Coast

Organisers are hoping for a large Oktoberfest turn out, and have prepared a beer hall that holds around 3000 people for the event. Photo: Courtesy MartyK Photography

 

Many Oktoberfest participants are expected to dress in traditional Bavarian costume for the occasion, to really get into the festival spirit.

Mr Creighton said he and his friends would be dressing up for the event.

“I’ve got a group of mates that are going, so we’re all going together,” he said.

“We’re going to dress up in… costumes, have a few beers and get a bit silly,” Mr Creighton said.

Mr Forrest said final preparations for the event were underway, with security as their main priority.

“Safety and food and beverage are our biggest things that we’re currently working on,” he said.

“Right at the moment is all about security, police, first aid; making sure all the safety features are in place,” he said.

Tickets to the Oktoberfest event are currently selling online at Megatix.

There will also be a limited number of tickets available at the door on the day.

For more information, visit www.oktoberfestonthecoast.com.au.

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