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By Ed Barrena

October 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Oktoberfest is a big deal in East County. Locally we have many festivities that hit the mark when it comes to the traditional Bavarian celebration. But what is it all about?

According to the German website the tradition began in Munich as a horse race in 1810 to celebrate a royal German wedding. Modern Oktoberfest celebrations have been going on in the USA for decades with a large focus on German food, music and dancing and it wouldn't be Oktoberfest without beer.

Oktoberfest beer, also known as Marzen, is generally brewed in a German lager style with strong fruit notes. According to the word Marzen is German for the month of

March. This name represents the time when the beer was traditionally brewed and stored until after the summer. Hot summer weather made brewing more difficult 200 years ago before the coming of refrigeration and climate control.

Music includes singing groups, polka bands, and German folk music. The men wear the famous stylized short pants known as lederhosen, while the ladies wear the classic beer maiden outfit, the dirndl dress.

When it comes to traditional German food, sauerkraut and sausage are the most prevalent and happen to pair well with Marzen.

Look to our Destination East County section for details on all of the

Oktoberfest celebrations going on in East County.

Enjoy the festivities and always drink responsibly.