As fall approaches, so do Oktoberfest festivals! Here is a list of the top American Oktoberfest festivals to attend. Find one near your current travel assignment and join the fun! If you’re a home-body, or prefer intimate celebrations with close friends and family, we added some tips on how to host your very own festival at home.
The Oktoberfest Zinzinnati USA festival takes place in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio celebrating the local German heritage and providing delicious samples of German-style food, beer and music. The event is free for all, and there will be seven stages of entertainment, filling your days with fun. The festival was first held in 1976, but today it is the largest Oktoberfest in America.
September 16-18 & September 23-25
In Denver, Colorado on Larimer Street, you can enjoy everything from keg bowling to stein hoisting, 30 plus bands, and more. The event that began with just some pretzels and kegs of beer in 1969 has now grown into an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors over a two-weekend period. No matter how experienced or novice you are, this festival is sure to provide something for everyone. Alongside German favorites, you’ll also find American staples 😉.
The city of Milwaukee’s major German heritage is evident in the beer culture, with a lot of Oktoberfest beers from Hofbrau, Hacker-Pschorr, and Paulaner breweries. The food selection strikes as one of the most astounding with rows of spit-roasted whole pigs (yes, whole!), brats, pretzels, roasted chicken, rollbraten, and even Bienenstich, or “Bee sting cake,” a German dessert. The event is free to attend but there are VIP Packages available in advance for $45. Proceeds benefit the War Memorial Center.
September 30-October 2
Find your way to Fredericksburg, Texas for a true celebration of the German heritage in the Polka Capital of Texas! The event is family-friendly and complete with artisans, children’s games, and family activities! You name it, they have it: waltz and yodel contests, hauptstrasse chicken dances, kinderpark, keg tapping, and plenty more family fun! Visit the link to see what’s on all five stages.
September 30-October 1, October 7-8 and 14-15
This year’s Leavenworth festival in Washington may look a little different from what it has been in the past, but it is still great fun. The festival will feature over 100 unique local vendors, artists, and crafters during the first 3-weekends in October to support small businesses and local artists. No need to worry, your favorite Oktoberfest foods will be available as well as official souvenirs.
October 20 – 23
Discover Bavaria in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Located at River West Festival Park, 2100 South Jackson Ave, Tulsa, OK, the Linde festival is recognized as one of the Top 5 Oktoberfests in America by USA Today. There will be five days of German Gemütlichkeit, entertainment, food, and beer!
Have an At-Home Oktoberfest Celebration
Maybe you are unable to attend a festival event or would prefer to socially distance and celebrate at home. In which case, we have you covered!
First, to truly get in the mood to experience Oktoberfest (at home), you’ll want to order your very own lederhosen (the traditional German overall statement piece that makes an annual appearance during all Oktoberfests).
Then, plan and prepare your palates with these German-inspired beer and bites:
Your At-Home Oktoberfest Menu:
Purchase or prepare some German-style pretzels, also known as brezen, which are traditionally paired with butter. If you are feeling up to it, make your own or purchase some from a local bakery. Roast a pork with a dark beer and onions (schweinsbraten), roasted ham hocks (schweinshaxe) or crispy roast chicken. These traditional dishes are staples and will bring in that Oktoberfest vibe you’re looking for.
Oktoberfest beers are everywhere, but to get a real Oktoberfest experience, try these six German lagers: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spaten, and Hofbräuhaus.
Lastly, bring the Oktoberfest atmosphere indoors with a few accessories. The Oktoberfest atmosphere can be brought indoors with a few simple accessories. Set out themed dishware, a tablecloth with a blue-and-white checkers, and of course the glass beer steins. Put on a German brass band playlist to complete your set for the festival to bring in the oompah theme.
Oktoberfest festivals offer more than just great food and drinks; they’re also a great way to get to explore a town and meet new people. No matter where you choose to celebrate Oktoberfest, be sure to have a grand ole’ time.