Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen was on the list of bride options for French conqueror Napoleon in the early 1800s. But lucky for beer-swillers and brat-buffs worldwide, Therese decided to shack up with Crown Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria, who would later go on to become king. To celebrate their wedding, in early October 1810 the newlyweds threw one heck of a party and horse race, which turned into the inaugural Oktoberfest.
In 2007, the city of Munich, Germany, where Oktoberfest is held, conducted a survey of the economic impacts of the gargantuan 16-day beer shitshow on the city. They found that 6.2 million visitors came to Oktoberfest in 2007 and consumed more than 6.9 million liters of beer over the span of the festival. Other interesting facts include: 58,446 units of pork knuckles were consumed (yak) and 4,000 items of property lost, including cell phones, wedding rings and crutches. (Sounds a bit like Where's Waldo Oktoberfest.)
If you can't make it to Bavaria this year, celebrate the 200th anniversary of Therese and Ludwig's union at local European eatery and beer store Tres Bonne Cuisine. Owners Tom and Barbara Haines will serve up a banquet of Weisswurst and bratwurst sausage, beer and live music on Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18, from 6-10 p.m.