Tours and Activities:
Oktoberfest Argentina, the National Beer FestivalMarcelo SolaDir. de Turismo Villa Gral. Belgrano
During the month of October, thousands of people peregrinate up to this city in the Province of Córdoba to take part in one of the most expected events in the year: the National Beer Festival. This celebration of German origin pays tribute to this sparkling beer based on hop, barley and malt.
Every year, during the month of October, the mountain range district of Villa General Belgrano dresses up to celebrate the traditional National Beer Festival. This festival commemorates the Oktoberfest, the pagan ritual originated in Munich, Germany, five centuries ago, in which the sparkling goddess that enters the body like an icy stream as she takes hold of the spirit is worshipped.
This event is celebrated during eleven intense days in the Beer Park (a venue especially designed for the occasion). The attendants drink several liters of beer, which are served in giant German mugs. The main beer trademarks, both national and international, take part in this particular festival, in which their premium, traditional and special products are promoted in various stands.
But not everything is beer at the Villa General Belgrano Oktoberfest, in the beer garden there are also several stands with traditional German dishes, such as Frankfurt sausages, the mandatory leber-wurst, smoked pork ribs and the well-known sausages with chucrut. When it is time for dessert, there is hardly any hesitation, the selva negra cake (chocolate sponge cake with cream and morellos fruit) and the Apfelstrudel (apple pie with puff pastry) are applauded by everyone.
At times, the celebration moves onto the center of the city, where there is a parade of the communities that have contributed to the formation of the present cosmopolitan identity of Villa General Belgrano. Thus, delegations from Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, the Canary Islands, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Portugal, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Armenia and Ukraine show off their typical costumes, broadening up the cultural spectrum of the festival remarkably.
In the afternoons, the simultaneous opening of the beer barrels is carried out. People gather with their mugs up trying to get some of the free spurts of beer. According to tradition, drinking the beer from those barrels is supposed to bring people good luck.
The display of beer unfolds collective joy, after which a multicolor parade begins until sunset finds the participants totally exhausted, bathed in beer and victims of sleepiness.
One of the high points of the event is the election of the National Queen of Beer, who is chosen among twenty applicants who have been previously selected in several points all round the country.
Undoubtedly, speaking about Villa General Belgrano means speaking about the Oktoberfest in Argentina.
A Festival with History
Since 1964, the National Beer Festival has been held in the district of Villa General Belgrano in Córdoba in October, thus commemorating the German celebration called Oktoberfest.
During the first issues of this celebrations, an old cart used to transport the picturesque local orchestra, unleashing excitement in the town square. The orchestras and dancing groups were presented by a speaker who is now remembered with much appreciation by the inhabitants of the village. In honor to him, the main stage where the show is displayed bears his name: Matías Calvo Ortega.
The event has traditionally been held in the Villa General Belgrano town square, Plaza José Hernández and by 1996, it was moved onto the beer garden. Time passed and the beer industry developed remarkably and with it, the Oktoberfest grew and began to summon more than fifty thousand people in the latest issues.
At the time the celebrations end, it is almost impossible not to end up feeling a little “dizzy” making toasts with the first stranger that crosses your way as you hold a giant beer mug.