Noch ein Bier, bitte! Another beer, please! Beer, bratwursts and Bavarian culture… these three things lie at the core of the world’s largest and most widely celebrated beer festival. You guessed it… ‘tis the season of Oktoberfest!
Every year from mid-September to early October, millions of people (German and non-German alike) gather in Munich, Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest. Throughout the 2-week stretch, festival-goers consume a total of about 7.7 million liters of beer, while they chomp down on mouth-watering German foods such as smoked sausages, sauerkraut, and brezen (pretzels), and jam out to live traditional folk music.
We know it may be just a tad difficult to get to Munich on such short notice, but don’t worry. There are plenty of places throughout the U.S. where you can celebrate Oktoberfest and satisfy your inner beer fanatic. Take a look!
Seven stages, 30+ food vendors, dozens of beer tents and the largest kazoo band in the world… now that’s what we call a celebration! Sitting at the top of the list of American Oktoberfests, Zinzinnati is undisputedly one of the largest and most extravagant Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany. Unlike the original version in Munich that runs over two weeks long, this bash is jam-packed into two days, complete with the largest chicken dance ever, and the traditional “Running of the Wieners” race (entry fee includes a hot dog bun costume). Today, this festival attracts over 500,000 people and is held in the historic Fountain Square district in downtown Cincinnati.
If two days aren’t enough for you to get your beer on, “sin city” is the place for you. Hofbräuhaus in Las Vegas kicks off Oktoberfest on September 17 weekend with a celebrity keg tapping (Siegfried & Roy are among the many stars who have done the honors) and drives the party straight through Halloween! The Vegas Hofbräuhaus is probably one of the closest experiences you’ll have to a real-deal, world-famous Munich beer hall with waitresses dressed in vintage Bavarian dresses and live traditional folk music in every participating establishment.
Located just 40 miles south of Portland, Oregon, lies a little community drenched in Bavarian culture. Everything from the architecture to the landscape is starkly reminiscent of Bavaria and the town itself was settled by German pioneers in the 1800s. It comes by no surprise that Mt. Angel’s Oktoberfest is now the largest festival in the Northwest, boasting live music, free rides and shows, street dancing, arts and crafts, and of course– a massive traditional Biergarten.
Located twenty miles from downtown Los Angeles and just ten miles from the beachfront, you can quench your beer thirst and reward yourself with a small beach getaway in this little slice of Bavaria, in sunny Southern California. The Alpine Village Oktoberfest features more than 100 craft beers from over 40 breweries, as well as German cuisine staples such as schnitzels, sauerkraut, and bratwurst. Of course, no Oktoberfest celebration is complete without tons of chicken dances and Oom Pah Pah party bands (flown straight in from Germany).
Pro-tip: If you’re thinking of partaking in the 8-weeks weeks of frothy, beer-filled fun we recommend to buy tickets for Alpine Village Oktoberfest online as soon as possible, this way you can take advantage of early-bird discounts and also avoid the long lines that usually form with same-day purchasers.
After an official proclamation in 1996 the German Parliament from Munich, Frankenmuth Oktoberfest stands as the first Oktoberfest to operate with the blessing of the original Oktoberfest in Munich. Also known as “Little Bavaria”, Frankenmuth’s unique German heritage makes it feel as if you’re right in the heart of a Bavarian beer hall, as you guzzle down world-famous Hofbrauhaus beer (straight from Munich) and cheer on your favorite pup at the popular Weiner dog race. Oh, and don’t forget your dancing shoes; you’ll need them for all the polka dancing (believe us, there’s a lot)!