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Oktoberfest Goes International & Rocks the Campo de Gibraltar

Rosario Pérez · Photos: Fran Montes

Oktoberfest Beer Festival Goes International| Campo de Gibraltar, Spain

Los Barrios, La Línea and Tarifa have already successfully turned this German tradition into a major public event and tourist attraction.

Not every festival needs to be Americanised, focussed on mass consumption, with fast food franchises and amusement parks filled with dolls, nor Anglicised traditions, like Halloween, St. Patrick or Santa Claus… When it comes to having fun (in some cases) or bringing in a higher turnover to your business (in other cases), any international celebration is a good excuse.

Germany’s most delicious international festival, Oktoberfest, has been on the rise like bubbles in a pint on this side of the Pyrenes. This festival has caught the attention of hospitality, tourism and leisure industries throughout Europe as a way to fill up October’s relatively empty calendar –a month that lies halfway between the excesses of summer holidays and the saving-up period leading up to Christmas.

Europe has now raised a glass to the traditional beer festival, with venues putting on events and people dressing up. Given that Spain is the 4th largest consumer of beer (with Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland in the lead), it was only a matter of time before Oktoberfest caught on, especially in the South of Spain where high temperatures are said to bring about an increase in consumption of cold beer, to the detriment of other drinks.

According to a study published by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture and Tax Agency entitled “Report on Food Consumption in Spain”, 3,792,000 litres of beer were consumed throughout Spain in 2017. This was the highest level of beer consumption ever recorded in Spain, only to increase even higher in 2018.

As for the Oktoberfest festivities in Los Barrios during the first week of October, the photos speak for themselves. This year was the 7th edition of the Beer Festival in the Campo de Gibraltar. This year, the jam-packed event was held at the old summer cinema, organised by the ‘Círculo de Amigos Tres Cartoce’ (Circle of Friends 3 – 14) together with the local City Council took place on the 4th and 5th.

The change of venue was due to renovation works at the La Montera Bullring, but this did not deter the punters. So many people accumulated at the venue at certain times during the festivities that, as they say locally, “no cabía un alfiler’ (no room for even a pin). Even so, for those who missed out on the festivities, or were still up for another round, there were many other events going on to take in the spirit of Munich. This year, La Línea celebrated Oktoberfest from the 10th – 12th of October at the plaza within ‘El Mercado de la Concepción’.

The celebrations were organised by the Delegation of Markets, the City Council Chamber of Commerce, the Hotelier’s Association and other gourmet establishments.

And in those areas that are yet to host a public Oktoberfest festival, which is becoming increasingly popular throughout Cádiz, such as in Chiclana, there are also private events to enjoy.

Hotel ‘La Residencia Puerto’ was one such host who organised their own private Oktoberfest party this year which started at 7 pm on Saturday October the 12th. There was beer and music in abundance as well as other traditional German delicacies, such as the ever-popular Frankfurt sausages, coleslaw, pretzels and other salty finger-foods.

HISTORY

The original Oktoberfest, which typically lasts between 16 – 18 days, has been held at the Theresenwiese meadow in Munich since 1810, and each year the festival attracts between 6 to 7 million visitors.

The celebration kicks off with the arrival of the Wienswirte (brewery owners) and horse carriages loaded with barrels of beer. The Mayor will then open the first barrel, and a parade of people march in traditional German attire.

The party ensues with litres of beer, food, shows and excitement spread throughout different tents in the park.

Oktoberfest Beer Festival Goes International| Campo de Gibraltar, Spain

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