‘Ozapft is!’

Kauai may not be Bavaria, but the people here do love beer and a reason to party.

With that in mind, Mark Myers is throwing an Oktoberfest at Trees Lounge for the fourth consecutive year, starting at 3 p.m. Sunday and lasting through the night.

“It’s just a good reason to party, a good reason to celebrate,” said Myers, adding there will be a special beer garden, live music and traditional Bavarian food.

In 1810, the German city of Munich threw a mega-party to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig — who would become King Ludwig I — to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. And the rest is history — one filled with strong beer, Bavarian food and, of course, a heck of a good time that ended up lasting more than two weeks.

Munich’s Oktoberfest at the 103-acre Theresienwiese is one of the largest and longest-running parties in the world, attended by more than six million people each year. It lasts for at least 16 days, starting in late September and ending the first week of October.

Since 1950, Munich’s Oktoberfest opens with a 12-gun salute and after the mayor taps the first keg and cries, “Ozapft is!” which means “It’s tapped!” in the Austro-Bavarian dialect. Then, the mayor serves the first beer to the state of Bavaria’s minister president.

How’s that for elected officials getting along?

And by the way, all the beer served there has to be brewed in Munich and must have at least  6 percent alcohol content,  well above the average content of regular beer.

But back to the local early fall tradition, Trees’ Oktoberfest is not so strict on the alcoholic content or origin of beer — all of the beer inventory will be available at an outdoor beer garden, and at a discounted price.

Myers said they will be also serving traditional Bavarian food, such as bratwurst, pretzels and sauerkraut.

The crowd at the beer Garden will be entertained by the funky jazz of Milo Matthews, an Alaskan musician who lives part time on Kauai.

Later in the night, the Kauai Rhythm Kings take the stage inside Trees. It’s the same group that Myers said “killed it” last week while opening a concert for Leon Russell at Kauai Community College.

Just don’t drink too much and pass out, becoming one more “bierleichen,” or “beer corpse” in German.

Before her marriage to Prince Ludwig, Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, also know as Therese of Bavaria, was on a list of potential brides to Napoleon Bonaparte. Bavarians embraced her as a the ideal queen, wife and mother.

Despite Ludwig’s mishaps in his love life — including a famous one in 1848 which prompted him to step away from the throne — their marriage lasted until Therese’s death in 1854. But their wedding party lives on.

Trees Lounge is at 440 Aleka Place in Waipouli, right behind Coconut Marketplace. Call 823-0600 for more information.


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