Oktoberfest is a 16-day annual German festival that originated in Munich and Bavaria. Other cities across the world, including New York, hold Oktoberfest celebrations. New York’s Oktoberfest 2012 will be celebrated from September 15th through October 20th, though many beer gardens and bars focus their festivities on the October weekend.
Traditionally Oktoberfest celebrants savor not only great Bavarian beers but also traditional cuisine. Not all NYC beer gardens serve food but many of the 60+ venues covered in our Beer Gardens NYC App provide full or partial grill menus. Traditional style NYC beer gardens suitable for foodies include The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria–the potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce is sufficiently ample for two and the fried Muenster is simply delish. Or check out Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Brooklyn where The Biergarten Grill serves up seven kinds of sausage!
NYC Oktoberfest Events & Happenings
Das Best Oktoberfest, Saturday October 20th at La Venue
Zum Schneider Celebration – http://www.zumschneider.com/
The Steuben Parade - http://www.germanparadenyc.org/events.html
Bier Haus - http://bierhausnyc.com/
The NYC Oktoberfest street fair on Sunday, September 30th on Lexington Avenue from 42nd to 57th Street. 10am to 6pm, free.
Outside of the Big Apple, Oktoberfest is a big deal, too. Check out these popular U.S. city celebrations.
The largest U.S. Oktoberfest takes place in a six block downtown area of Cincinnati, Ohio, AKA “Zinzinnati.” During “America’s Oktoberfest,” festival goers will sample more than 50 different beers, an array of German food and enjoy entertainment including live music and a competitive eating competition Oktoberfest style—a bratwurst-eating contest—and a “stein hoist” led by former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning.
Columbus, Ohio holds its Oktoberfest in three buildings at the Ohio State Fairgrounds/Ohio Expo Center Sept. 28-30. Events include ceremonial keg tapping, chain-saw carving, stone tossing and cream puff stuffing and, for kids, a rubber-chicken toss contest.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Wisconsin isn’t only for Cheese Heads, ya know. La Crosse has been celebrating Oktoberfest for more than 50 years, and this year’s nine-day celebration launches Friday, Sept 28th. Highlights include a craft beer night, a celebrity dunk tank, three parades, carnival rides, the Lederhosen Luncheon and a bean-bag corn hole tournament, and a “Sing & Swig Karaoke Contest.”
In Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed town in Washington State, Oktoberfest is celebrated over three successive weekends beginning October 5-6th. Each weekend includes beer and traditional German food and oompah music. A procession through town kicks off the keg-tapping ceremony. A free shuttle runs between the town’s four festival venues and free Wi-Fi is also offered.
Famous for its St. Patrick’s Day parade, Chicagoans also party hardy for Oktoberfest, too. The city hosts one of the oldest Oktoberfest celebrations at St. Alphonsus Church in South Lakeview (Sept. 28-30th). Music is provided by bands including the Bratwurst Brothers and the Polkaholics. During Sunday’s Kinderfest, attendees are taught how to polka.
At The Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion at Walt Disney World, Oktoberfest is a year-round event. Go Magic Kingdom!
Fredericksburg Oktoberfest – Fredericksburg, TX
Frankenmuth Oktoberfest – Frankenmuth, MI
Helen Oktoberfest – Helen, GA
Lake Worth Oktoberfest – Lake Worth, FL
Leavenworth Oktoberfest – Leavenworth, WA
Torrance Oktoberfest – Torrance, CA
Denver Oktoberfest – Denver, CO
Irondequoit Oktoberfest – Irondequoit, NY
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – San Diego, CA
Charlotte Oktoberfest – Charlotte, NC
Tulsa Oktoberfest – Tulsa, OK
Soulard Oktoberfest – Soulard, MO
Oktoberfest by the Bay – San Francisco, CA