|Did You Know?
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the largest celebration of this kind in the United States. Held in the third week of September, it attracts over 500,000 people every year. The festival was organized first in 1976, and is mainly known for the Chicken Dance, which also holds the record for being the largest dance of this type in the country.
One of the most renowned beer festivals in the world, the Oktoberfest is originally rooted in the Bavarian tradition. The idea of holding a full-fledged beer festival was triggered when, in 1810, at the wedding reception party of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, all the citizens of Munich were invited for royal festivities, which involved a lot of beer. The people enjoyed the festivities so much that it was decided to hold a beer festival each year. As the German immigrants migrated to the United States, they also brought with them this old Bavarian tradition, alongside others.
The first ever Oktoberfest in the United States was hosted by a Bavarian Beer Garden called Blob's Park, located in the town of Jessup, Maryland, in 1947. After this, the tradition seemed to spread throughout the length and breadth of the country like wildfire. Today, there are hundreds of Oktoberfests, big and small, held all across the United States, and millions of people participate to celebrate the mighty beer and the sumptuous Bavarian cuisine. The following compilation lists some of the major upcoming Oktoberfest events in the US, where you can and indulge into various German festivities.
Top American Oktoberfest Destinations
Denver Oktoberfest» Location: Denver, Colorado
» Duration: September 19 to 21 and 26 to 28, 2014
This is the 45th year of the Denver Oktoberfest, which was first held in 1969. Known to attract over 350,000 people, this six-day event, spanning over two consecutive weekends, has been credited to be The Best Oktoberfest in the United States by numerous major publications.
» Special Features: Two stages (German Stage and Rock Stage) of live music with several band performances! Keg Bowling National Championship, Stein hoisting contest, Long Dog Derby Costume Contest, bratwurst eating contest, etc., are some of the other features. Of course, lots and lots of beer too!
» For more information, visit the Denver Oktoberfest website.
» Location: Leavenworth, Washington
» Duration: October 3 and 4, 10 and 11, and 17 and 18, 2014
Leavenworth is the Bavarian village in Washington State. It started hosting the Oktoberfest celebrations from 1998, and from then onwards, the event has been attracting thousands of Americans as well as foreigners. In 2014, more than 35,000 people are expected to participate in these festivities.
» Special Features: Enormous selection of imported German beer, four stages of live music and entertainment (two new bands: Die Bergdiamanten from Germany and Alpen Vagbuden from Slovania!), authentic German food, arts and crafts, kids' activities, and the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon on Saturday, the 4th of October.
» For more information, visit the Leavenworth Oktoberfest website.
» Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
» Duration: September 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 30, and October 2 - 4, 2014
La Crosse in Wisconsin has been holding the Oktoberfest, USA since the year 1961. It is now in its 53rd year, and it continues to remain in the list of some of the best Oktoberfests in the USA.
» Special Features: Lots of live music, Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest Contest, Festmaster's Ball, different parades, mud run, and a special craft-beer night, where you can taste beers from about 40 different microbreweries (yeah, that's true!).
» For more information, visit the Oktoberfest, USA website.
» Location: Los Angeles, California
» Duration: October 3, 4, and 5, 2014
German cuisine, lots of craft beer, live bands, and mind-blowing Hollywood entertainment is dominant in the Los Angeles Oktoberfest event. If you have not booked the tickets already, what are you waiting for ― only few are now remaining, so go grab them all!
» Special Features: Silent Auction, stein holding contest, Bavarian dancing, magic show, wine tasting events, and thousands of gallons of craft beer.
» For more information, visit the LA Oktoberfest website.
» Location: Hickory, North Carolina
» Duration: October 10, 11, and 12, 2014
This three-day event, held on the second weekend of October, is one of the most happening outdoor festivals of North Carolina. Celebrating its 29th anniversary this year, the festival promises lots of entertainment, numerous live music gigs by different bands, and great drinking parties. Over 100,000 people are expected to join the festival this year!
» Special Features: 10th Annual Carolina Orthopedic Oktoberfest Footrace, art and craft shows, amusement rides, carnival games, and family entertainment programs.
» For more information, visit the Hickory Oktoberfest website.
» Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
» Duration: October 16 to 19, 2014
For 35 years, Tulsa has been holding the grand Oktoberfest event each year. The festival has a long tradition of providing the local Oklahomans with Bavarian food and authentic German beers. Plus, there are a lot of activities, wherein kids and families can participate, thus making the event even more enjoyable.
» Special Features: Three German bands shall be playing exclusively this year at the festival. Apart from this the other attractions are Wienar dog races, stein hoisting contest, live local bands... The list is endless, so have a good time at Tulsa this season!
» For more information, visit the Tulsa Oktoberfest website.
Cape Coral Oktoberfest
» Location: Cape Coral, Florida
» Duration: October 17 to 19 and 24 to 26, 2014
Giant tents, authentic German beer, great food, lots and lots of beverages apart from beer, a huge carnival area, and dance floors―the Oktoberfest at Cape Coral has it all. This is the 29th year of the event, hosted by the German-American Social Club of Cape Coral, and it is expected to be as joyful as always.
» Special Features: Non-stop live music in three stages, two dance floors, kids' carnival area, handicrafts, and numerous drawing competitions.
» For more information, visit the Cape Coral Oktoberfest website.
Savannah Riverfront Oktoberfest
» Location: Savannah, Georgia
» Duration: October 3 to 5, 2014
Get the feel of Germany, Savannah style, at this 31st annual Oktoberfest event hosted in Savannah. This event is known for the Weiner dog races, which are held every year, and many Georgians get their dachshunds to participate. Plus, there is a lot of family fun, alongside food and beer.
» Special Features: Fireworks on Friday night, fishing tournament, sausage eating contest, and numerous stein races.
» For more information, visit the Savannah Riverfront Oktoberfest website.
» Location: Richmond, Virginia
» Duration: October 17 and 18, 2014
This is the 46th annual celebration of the Richmond Oktoberfest, and it is the largest one of this category held in the state of Virginia. The entire venue is decorated in German style, so as to create an appropriate ambiance for the German party. While German beer is the main beverage that is served, there are also other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, apart from tasty food preparations!
» Special Features: Bavarian dancing, live music, stage plays, Chicken Dance, and the Sauerkraut Band.
» For more information, visit the Richmond Oktoberfest website.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, following are some more Oktoberfest events you may not want to miss.
The Great Northwest Oktoberfest
» Location: Whitefish, Montana
» Duration: September 25 to 27 and October 2 to 4, 2014
» For more information, visit The Great Northwest Oktoberfest website.
» Location: Macon, Georgia
» Duration: October 24 and 25, 2014
» For more information, visit the Macon Octoberfest website.
» Location: Tampa, Florida
» Duration: October 10 to 12, 2014
» For more information, visit the Oktoberfest Tampa website.
New Ulm Oktoberfest
» Location: New Ulm, Minnesota
» Duration: October 3 and 4, 10 and 11, 2014
» For more information, visit the New Ulm Oktoberfest website.
Make your plans ASAP to get the event tickets as most of the places get fully booked quickly. Try to participate in as many activities as possible as each time a new one is always undertaken. So, raise your steins, and get the party started!