HISTORY OF DIRNDLS AND LEDERHOSEN
Although the outfits were made for mountain and country-dwelling peasants, upper-class Germans eventually found the lederhosen to be sensible attire for outdoor activities such as horseback riding and hunting. Additionally, it became fashionable for noble society to emulate peasant style during the 18th century. Lederhosen worked their way up to courtly society while still being used by peasants. This resulted in lederhosen being the universal German attire.
In the 1880s, Munich began founding clubs dedicated to preserving Bavarian culture. The biggest factor was Oktoberfest, which announced in 1887 that lederhosen and dirndls would be the official garb for the attendees. Today, that rule still applies.
The view of lederhosen as the quintessential Bavarian outfit originated during this revival. Much like the kilt in Scotland, lederhosen have become a cultural stamp for German history. The dirndl experienced a very similar origin, evolution, and revival in its journey to legendary status.
The dirndl’s history parallels with that of the lederhosen. The dirndl emerged in Germany during the 18th century and was also intended for working peasants.
Much like the lederhosen were adopted by the upper class in the 18th century, the dirndl started to make appearances in the nobles’ community. Rather than using the same affordable wools of the peasants, richer dirndls were made of silk, satin, and expensive fabrics. They eventually evolved into regular dresses, thus outsourcing the need for separate bodice, blouse, skirt and apron.
The lederhosen and dirndl histories start to drift apart through their current-day costume versions. Today, the lederhosen are very authentic and representative of the classic outfit. The dirndl, on the other hand, has been revived more fashionably. The original dirndl was made of very poor, rag-like materials. Today’s are clean, bright, and often feature shorter skirts.
Additionally, the culture of the apron knot-tying is a pretty modern emphasis (if the dirndl’s knot is tied to the right, the woman is taken. If it’s on the left, she’s single). This code is taken more seriously now than it ever has been historically.
So there you have it. Now you know the origin of Bavarian Trachts. Even though these outfits are donned in the Munich metropolis, their homage is owed to the common folk of the Alpines and German countryside. When you’re having a drink with some lederhosen-clad gents at Oktoberfest at the Fountain, make sure you Cheers those peasants.
Just like in Germany, Fountain Hills Mayor Ginny Dickey will perform the traditional tapping of the ceremonial keg to kick off the 13th Annual Fountain Hills Oktoberfest.
This opening ceremony takes place at 6:00 PM on Friday, September 24th at Fountain Park.
There are many Oktoberfest celebrations in Arizona's Valley of the Sun, each with their own twist. Here's what makes ours so special.
OKTOBERFEST AT THE FOUNTAIN EMCEE
We would like to introduce you to our former Mayor Jay Schlum. (pictured here to the right with his brother Kip) Jay will fill the role of the Oktoberfest Emcee. Jay is proud of his German heritage, and helps promote Oktoberfest in the community and is on task for both days of the event.
Pictured above is the Fountain Hills first Oktoberfest Queen from 2019. Ashley Blaze is also proud of her German heritage and is fluent in the German language.
Ashley is a first-generation German-American; her mother moved to the United States in 1975. She recently took a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest and was able to reconnect with family and fully immerse herself into the culture. She loves her German heritage and can't wait to wear her dirndl at our Oktoberfest! Prost!
Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of the 2021 Oktoberfest at the Fountain Queen!
LIVE GERMAN BAND
The band "Die Echten Waldbuam" flies in from Germany every year for our event. They entertain with the traditional Oktoberfest Volksmusik as well as a variety of contemporary tunes that gets the audience moving on the dance floor. The talented group has performed in various locations around Arizona and in popular concerts in Germany. Fountain Hills is their favorite performance venue "with so many friendly folks who enjoy our performances and have become friends over the years," says bandleader Martin Moser.
AUTHENTIC GERMAN BEER
Keeping with German traditions, Warsteiner beer is brewed in the Arnsberg Forest Nature Park outside Warstein, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Warsteiner has been owned by the Cramer family since 1753. The beer is brewed according to the German Reinheitsgesetz (Purity Law) established in 1516. Four Warsteiner beer varieties will be available including Warsteiner Pilsener, a light lager; Warsteiner Dunkel, a dark lager; Warsteiner Oktoberfest, a medium amber lager; and Koenig Ludwig Hefeweizen, a popular wheat beer.
A commemorative beer stein will be available at the Oktoberfest festivities.
TRADITIONAL GERMAN FOOD
The foot-long, grilled Brats are the staple of any Oktoberfest, along with schnitzel, a German specialty. Sides include homemade sauerkraut, potato salad, and potato pancakes.
Fountain Hills Sister Cities raises funds for their organization with their mouthwatering, homemade apple strudel.
Rotary Club also raises funds with pretzels, bottled water, and soft drinks.
BEER STEIN HOLDING CONTEST
Twelve male and female contestants will compete each evening to see who can hold a 5-pound, filled beer stein the longest. On average, women hold it around 2-3 minutes and men around 3-5 minutes. Who will set the record? Leading up to the event, contestants can practice at the Oktoberfest Pre-Parties.
Pre-Parties are held on August 23rd, 30th & September 14th & 20th. These parties are the best way to prepare for the Oktoberfest with a fashion show, German wine tasting, German food tasting and polka dancing lessons. More information can be found HERE.
ALPHORN BLOWING CONTEST
Folks of all ages stand in line for a chance to blow the Alphorn. Is it easy? Come try it out for yourself! A prize goes to the winner voted by the audience.
BEST DRESSED OKTOBERFEST
All participants who have donned their Dirndls and Lederhosen parade proudly around the event, showing off their colorful attire. Prizes will be awarded to guests wearing the most popular outfits. In addition, anyone dressed in Oktoberfest attire enjoys FREE tickets worth $5 toward food and drink. Learn more about authentic German attire HERE.
FUN KIDS' ZONE
Families will love the free Kids' Zone that will host endless entertainment with bounce houses and obstacle course. Parents can relax and enjoy the festival while their kids are entertained.
VOLUNTEERS ARE THE HEART
Celebrating the Fountain Hills Oktoberfest would not be possible without the thousands of volunteer hours donated by our local service organizations and individuals.
- Phil's Filing Station
- Rotary Club
- Lions Club
- Fountain Hills Chamber Ambassadors
- Fountain Hills Young Community
- Sister Cities
Your Bavarian costume will not be complete with a hat and souvenir Oktoberfest at the Fountain pin.