Every year, when the community clubs lock the gates and winterize the pool, and school is up and running in full gear once again, many people in the U.S. start making plans for two prominent up and coming holidays, just around the corner. As September subtly slides into the more brisk ambience of October’s all-fall style, plans begin to develop for stockpiling all sorts of candy and treats to hand out to trick-or-treaters, while at the same time, visions of superlative Halloween costumes begin to take form. At the same time, there’s another form of celebration that imbues the month of October with great anticipation of much festive flair to come, and U.S. citizens with German descent as well as those of all other nationalities alike find Oktoberfest to be a fantastic way to sing in the full-on presence of fall, friends and fun, German-Style!
The Official Oktoberfest in Germany
The central celebration takes place in Munich, Bavaria, Germany every year, with the world’s largest beer festival and fair. It lasts for 16-17 days, during which more than 8 million litres of beer are poured and served. The fun usually begins sometime between mid to late September, running until the first weekend of October, and draws well over an annual 6 million attendees from all over the world. The official Oktoberfest celebrations originated in 1810, and since that time, celebrations are hosted worldwide, modeled from this one. Key components of Oktoberfest are festive Oom-Pah bands playing all the favorites, amusement rides, huge tents, and attendees decked out in lederhosen singing and dancing the polka. Everywhere, you’ll observe giant steins full of foamy German beer, being raised in toast after toast, to health, wealth and prosperity. Food is a large part of Oktoberfest, with signature cheeses, potatoes, kugel, meats, sausages amid the cotton candy, petting zoos, parades and horse races.
Oktoberfest, U.S. Style
America is only one of the many countries that join in to celebrate Oktoberfest, with numerous cities prominently known for their “must-do” celebration style. No matter where you celebrate Oktoberfest, expect delicious food, amazing beer, energetic dancing and giant smiles, everywhere you look. With Oktoberfest so prominently recognized across the U.S., chances are you’ll find one or more right where you live, or nearby. If you can spare the time and cash, there are many to inspire even the most stoic of Americans!
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, So. California’s San Bernardino Mountains
Surely one of the very best, everything is well intentioned to be authentically German, with Brats and Knockwursts, and the very same beers poured at the first celebrations. One of the longer Oktoberfests, this one runs from Mid-September until October 31!
Helen Oktoberfest, Helen GA
The Longest-running Oktoberfest in the U.S., the Helen Oktoberfest offers the best of beer, brats, lederhosen and bands. From September 10 through September 13, and from September 17 through November 1.
The quaint town of Leavenworth is actually modeled on a Bavarian Village, and is hugely popular, among Oktoberfest seekers. This year’s fun takes place on October 2 and 3, October 9 and 10, and October 16 and 17.
Oktoberfest, Minnesota Style
New Ulm, Minnesota has been called “the most German city in the U.S.A, and is home of one of the very best Oktoberfest productions on U.S. soil. This year’s celebrating will happen October 4, 5, 11 and 12, with Schell’s Brewery providing German lagers, which is proudly the longest continuously owned/operated family breweries, nationwide. With everything you’d expect from an Oktoberfest gala, and more!