If you’re in Villa General Belgrano at the end of September and beginning of October, you’ll find yourself surrounded by people in lederhosen and national costumes, German music, food and beer. Lots of beer.
This is Oktoberfest, Argentine style.
The Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza began as a local celebration in the 1960’s, but in 1980 became a national event.
Music and dance groups from Europe, other Latin American countries, even Arabia entertain the crowds. Several of the days are designated, such as Swiss/Argentine/Germanic, Italian/Argentine/Germanic and Hispanic/Argentine/Germanic when the program is dedicated to the beer and cultures of those countries.
Why Oktoberfest in Villa General Belgrano?:
The Valle de Calamuchita, Calamuchita Valley, is in a region of tall mountains, rushing rivers and great lakes, an agricultural area where at the beginning of the 20th century, local farmers already enjoyed the climate and fertile soil in a place they called El Sauce.
This area attracted the attention of immigrants from Central Europe, primarily from Germany, and particularly of Peter Heintze who in 1929 was looking for a place to set up an agricultural cooperative.
With the help of Jorge Kappuhn in Buenos Aires spreading the word, by the early 1930's other settlers had joined them, and the making of a German community was underway. Bringing their culture, music, language, cuisine and customs with them, they formed the agricultural cooperative.
The community looked like a typical Germanic village with red-roofed wooden houses, people wearing traditional clothing, music and cuisine.
Following the burning of the Argentine flag, blamed on the Graf Spee sailors, the community took the name of Villa General Belgrano, honoring the man who created the Argentine flag. Since October 12 was already a holiday, Día de la Raza , they took October 11, 1932 as their Foundation Day so they could celebrate on the 11th and rest on the 12th.
Today, Oktoberfest attracts thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the beer, the climate, the festivities and a bit of old Germany in modern-day Argentina.
About General Villa General Belgrano:
Check flights from your area to Buenos Aires or other locations in Argentina.
Getting to General Villa General Belgrano is easy by road from Córdoba, in Córdoba province, where you can fly in from Buenos Aires. ¿Cómo llegar? has the details. Orient yourself with this interactive map from Expedia.
Oktoberfest isn't the only reason to visit. There's also the Fiesta del Chocolate Alpino, Fiesta Nacional de la Masa Vienesa, and the Fiesta en Restaurantes y Confiterías de Villa General Belgrano, the Fiesta del Goloso or sweet tooth. The Christmas celebrations or Feria Navideña is popular with children and adult alike.
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