Hilton Oktoberfest brings a taste of Germany to South Korea
SEOUL — Touting unlimited beer and a “gargantuan buffet of Bavarian bounty,” organizers of the annual Hilton Oktoberfest are once again poised to bring a little taste of Germany to Seoul.
The seventh annual event, held in the Millenium Seoul Hilton’s convention center, runs Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. both nights. The original Oktoberfest, billed as the largest beer festival in the world, runs from Sept. 18 through Oct. 3 in Munich, Germany.
But thanks to Seoul’s version of the famous party, locals won’t have to travel that far. According to Mark Shears, the Hilton Oktoberfest’s master of ceremonies for the past two years, more than 3,000 people attended last year’s event in Seoul.
This year, Shears said, the Seoul event will feature a buffet of traditional German food and unlimited helpings of German beer, wine, soft drinks and other treats.
A German band called Muenchner Zwietracht will perform, and there will be dancing exhibitions, arm wrestling contests, speed beer drinking contests and more, according to the Hilton’s publicity materials.
Several prize raffles will be held with a grand prize round-trip to the real Oktoberfest in Germany.
The original festival began 171 years ago when Crown Prince Ludwig was married in Munich. The entire town was invited to the celebration, and the festival has been repeated every year since. The festival now draws some six million attendees yearly, Munich officials estimate.
The Munich Oktoberfest begins on the third Saturday of September with the mayor giving a traditional toast; the party lasts until the first Sunday in October.
Seoul’s version of Oktoberfest is a little less ambitious. Running two nights, the cost per person is 79,000 won (about $70).
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