Every year the town Villa General Belgrano celebrates the Oktoberfest Argentinian style. More than 50,000 people from everywhere in Argentina come together to enjoy the celebrations.
The first celebrations started in 1964 and has a long history in Argentina. They make their own beer in Villa General Belgrano. It is delicious and they have different flavours including honey, black and red beer. The festival is not just about the beer.It is an event with a long history and not just another Oktoberfest celebration. Yes I agree, it can never compare with the original Oktoberfest in Munich, but this festival has its own flair. Most of the people living in Villa General Belgrano are from European descent including German, Swiss and Hungarian.
People pay tribute to their German origin. There are large German communities in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. How do they do it? They dress up and have parades in traditional clothing through the streets of Villa General Belgrano. They serve German food and swallow it down with lots and lots of beer,they make music and they dance. It is fun to watch the bands perform. The men are dressed in traditional Bavarian outfits and their musical instruments bright and shiny. I always enjoy looking at the different kinds of musical instruments and accessories like the good Mullard 12AX7 Preamp Tube at musician’s friend because my grandparents were great musicians and we grew up with music in our house.
When do they celebrate it here in Villa General Belgrano?
The festival normally takes place during the first two weeks of Oktober. This year it will be taking place from 30 September to 10 October. The program is normally jam-packed and keeps everyone entertained.
If you get bored with the dances then visit the food stalls where you can buy traditional German food like Frankfurt sausages, the mandatory leber-wurst, smoked pork ribs and the well-known sausages with chucrut. Don´t leave out the dessert and I can definitely recommend the selva negra cake (chocolate sponge cake with cream and morellos fruit) and the Apfelstrudel (apple pie with puff pastry).
When you attend the Beer festival you need to acquire some items. A visit to the beer garden is not complete without a “chopp” (a giant beer mug in either wood or ceramic), which you clip into a belt worn over the shoulder. To top your outfit off you need to get a feathered hat in red, green or yellow and then you are ready to enjoy the festival.
I have been privileged to attend the festival for the past 3 years. Luckily I don´t have to travel far as we live 12 kms from Villa General Belgrano. Due to my involvement in the Hostel I get to meet a lot of people and every year I enjoy it even more. It is impossible to walk the streets of Villa General Belgrano without getting caught up in the atmosphere.
I am looking forward to the Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza this year. I have found a piece of Munich here in Argentina!