We may be heading out of Europe, but Leeds is digging its heels in firmly as it sets to have an Oktoberfest.
Many bars and restaurants across the city of Leeds will be joining in with the traditional German celebration of OktoberFest. The festival event celebrates German culture with traditional beers and foods as well as entertainment such as music and classical Bavarian dancing.
The largest celebration of the festival takes place in Munich, with over 5.6 million visitors. This year will mark the 153rd OktoberFest in Munich, which welcomes a large number of tourists from all over Europe each year.
Leeds is hoping to emulate the huge success of the German festival by hosting its own in the City Centre. Leeds has a significant German connection with longstanding links with the city of Dortmund. The contact began as far back as 1949 and the city was formally twinned with Leeds in 1969.
The relationship became official when The Control Commission of Germany made the proposal to initiate a relationship between West Riding of Yorkshire and the administrative district of Arnsberg. These areas were seen to resemble each other in terms of their geographical and population size, landscape and economic structure.
The friendship between the two cities has been a key factor that has led Leeds to join in the celebrations.
This year the old Tetley brewery is reclaiming its former glory by hosting the huge beer festival in a big top tent, which has a capacity for over 2,000 guests. The team behind the event have partnered with one of Germany’s most popular beer companies, Erdinger, who are renowned for their long established weissbiers and dunkels.
The event will also host traditional food stalls which will serve a wide range of sausages such as bratwurst, schnitzel, brezel and hendel as well as a some vegetarian alternatives.
The festival aims to entertain everybody in the city – but it is especially appreciated by German natives living in Leeds. Mark Benerhofen, trainee Engineer, said: ” I come from a German/American household who strongly uphold German values. I’ve always had traditional German food at home and it’s so great to be able to find that in Leeds when the festival is on.”
Other celebrations in the city include the all year round Bavarian beer hall Bierkeller. Booking and Events Manager Simon Pickles explained: ” Bierkeller celebrates Germany all year round but this year we are having a live Oompa Band and haus stiens to really get into the OktoberFest atmosphere!”
The OktoberFest has a lot of positives for the city but a huge point is that it boosts business. The festival allows Leeds businesses to gain a lot of footfall and increase profits, particularly in the hospitality industry.
The Griffin pub near the Leeds train station has chosen for the first time to join in the celebrations this year. Manager Tim Patterson explained: ” Leeds is a busy city. By celebrating OktoberFest it attracts more customers and is great for business. It also allows us to celebrate the different cultures from in and around Leeds.”
The festivities will run from the 6th-10th of October all over the city centre.
Written by Alicia Lansom