Every October, a southern Brazilian city of Blumenau, Santa Catarina welcomes 500,000 fans of German culture to join the Oktoberfest Blumenau. Such an incredible attendance makes it one of the largest Oktoberfests in the world and the biggest celebration of German culture in the Americas. For almost three weeks the city turns German—the festival-goers will see traditional garments and dancing and indulge themselves in traditional German cuisine. The highlights of the festival are a colourful parade and, of course, beer, lots of good beer.
In fact, the settlers of Blumenau came from Germany and have always preserved their native culture. Yet the idea to throw a party of that kind was first brought to life only in the early 1980s. The celebration was initiated to raise the spirit and to recover the local economy after the 1984 flood of the Itajaí-Açu River in the European Valley area. It is no wonder Oktoberfest Blumenau was a success from the very beginning that united the local citizens, businessmen, and public sector. Its first edition saw 100,000 visitors over 10 days of celebration. In the 1990's it was already recognised as one of Brazil's largest tourist events and also one of the most attended Oktoberfests in the world.