Dust off your dirndles and lederhosen, folks. It's that time of year again when people all over the world gather to celebrate Bavarian food and culture. The rich, savory comfort foods, large servings of tasty adult beverages, and plenty of happy singing and jolly music, make Oktoberfest a perfect fit for Alaska, where fall is already well on its way toward winter.
Although most of the English-speaking world considers Oktoberfest a broadly German occasion, in reality, it represents the traditions of one state, Bavaria, in the heart of Germany's mountainous south. The wildly popular fall festival attracts millions of people to its historical epicenter, Munich, Bavaria's capital. In 1810, then-Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese, and the whole country was invited to celebrate.
The rest is history. Each year since, barring wars, recessions, and plagues, Munich has celebrated the autumn's arrival with abandon.
Anchorage's Oktoberfest, an institution now in its 47th year put on by the German Club of Anchorage, ends Saturday night at the Egan Center downtown. But there's still a chance to catch up on polka dancing and fine German cuisine next weekend at Alyeska's Oktoberfest.