(WEAU) - The weekend kicked off with Peg and Jake Leinenkugel being named this year's Festmeister and Festmeisterin.
"Oktoberfest really was started back in Germany. It was a wedding celebration by King Ludwig for his daughter he wanted a special beer to commemorate,” said Jake Leinenkugel, Festmeister
From there, Oktoberfest beer was born and to kick off the festival people gathered to see the procession of the golden keg.
"It’s very traditional. It goes back to our German roots and heritage to do something like this,”
Thousands are coming to Oktoberfest; some are travelling from as far away as California and Ohio.
They're not only tasting the famous Leinenkugel beer, but also getting a taste of what Oktoberfest means to them.
One local says he's been here every year and always gets a taste of beer from the golden keg.
"I'm mostly German and I get to not shave for a couple months so that helps me get to work earlier in the morning and just show off the German heritage,” said Andrew McGrane of Chippewa Falls.
At the same time, another local is sharing in the tradition for the first time.
"Oh it’s awesome. My parents have been to Germany quite a few times and my brother was born in Germany and I just want to experience that and it’s just amazing,” said Rhonda Wedemeyer.
But, you won't see people in everyday clothes here.
"The traditional linen shirts, and the women in their brindles and shawls and its just a real neat to see because they’re so colorful and unique,” said Leinenkugel.