Bavaria’s archetypal festival of Oktoberfest gets a Peruvian twist as this guide, guest written by Peru travel expert Simon Ross-Gill, explains.
Long wooden tables lined with beer-guzzling revelers; Lederhosen-clad dancers swinging to Alpine folk rhythms; plates of bratwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut and apple strüdel; Autumn brings to the world the largest and most famous of beer festivals: Oktoberfest.
But this version of the festival was far from the rowdy beer halls of Munich; the buxom dancers were not blue eyed and blond haired and the river of beer was certainly not Bavarian. This was Oktoberfest Peruvian style.
Not that it made much difference to the party goers. Nationals and foreigners alike quickly got into the traditional spirit as the stadium-size beer tent started to fill up. “This is almost like being in Munich,” declared Alex Seeger, a German-Peruvian currently living in Lima.
In only its eighth year, Lima’s Oktoberfest has quickly taken the city by storm. The three day event was pioneered by German expats, Sepp Schauberger, Peter Weniger and Christian Pimentel and since 2002 has grown exponentially, now attracting up to 20,000 visitors annually, along with plenty of corporate sponsors and blessings from city officials, keen to contribute to Lima’s improving reputation as a Peru travel destination in its own right.
“We started just eight years ago” explained Peter “and the event has continued to grow every year. It’s closely styled on the festival in Munich and is helping to strengthen the relations between Germany and Peru. We want to create a warm environment between our countries.”
And they’ve certainly been successful. Fuelled by a large crowd and full glasses, the atmosphere inside matched all expectations of the traditionally boisterous event. It didn’t take long before people were dancing on the tables to thigh-slapping music, Alpenhorn performances and even a few yodelers.
Sponsored by the famous Peruvian brewery Cuzqueña, who had released a special edition exclusively for the event, Lima Oktoberfest had all the necessary ingredients for an authentic German party, including generous servings of sausage, pretzels and strudel.
Some devotees had even come dressed for the occasion. Nicola Kopp, who has lived in Lima for almost three years, proudly sported her vivid green Dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress. Indeed, you could almost be forgiven believing that we had somehow been transported into the heart of a Munich beer hall.
That is at least until later on in the night, when the band switched from Bavarian anthems to the sounds of Peruvian Cumbia, a move that proved popular for the Peruvian majority and which neatly symbolized the bizarre cultural fusion taking place eleven thousand kilometers away from the closest Bavarian beer hall.
Visiting Oktoberfest During Your Peru Vacation
Like the beer itself, Oktoberfest has proven to be a popular export from its fatherland. Blumenau in Brazil, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Kitchner in Canada and Bangalore in India all have their own versions of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest in Lima is held on the second or third weekend of October in the Videna arena, Avenida Aviacion 2068 in the district of San Luis. Getting to the stadium from the popular tourist centre of Miraflores takes around 20 minutes and will cost between 10 to 15 soles.
For more information on the event, visit the Oktoberfest in Peru website.
About The Author: