It is time to dust off your dirndl and grab a beer and brat! Saturday marks the start of the 180th Munich Oktoberfest. More than six million will drink and party at the Theresienwiese over the next three weeks.
If you can’t make it to Germany for Oktoberfest, we understand. Over the next eight weeks, more than 500 events in the United States (at least one in every state!) will celebrate German culture and heritage in the spirit of the original Oktoberfest from 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich. And there will be drinking too!
Who has the best Oktoberfest in the United States?
Here are the ten most liked Oktoberfest Facebook pages for festivals in America:
10. Hickory Oktoberfest – Hickory, North Carolina – October 11-13, 2013
The Hickory Downtown Development Association hosts this three day outdoor festival located around Union Square in downtown Hickory. More than 100,000 will enjoy the event with two beer gardens (Coors and Beck’s are sponsors) and four stages of live music. It is a family friendly event with amusement rides, carnival games, and KidFest area that has rides, games and activities for children. Participate in the Ninth Annual Carolina Orthopaedic Oktoberfest Footrace on Saturday (5K run/walk or 10K run) to benefit four Hospices in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. Or exhibit your crafts in the juried arts and crafts show. If you go, be sure to bring a canned good for the 15th annual Castle of Cans Food Drive. 5600 people like the Hickory Oktoberfest Facebook page.
9. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio – September 20-22, 2013
This Cincinnati Oktoberfest, started in 1976, is the largest in the United States with over 500,000 visitors expected in 2013. Six blocks of Fifth Street from Vine to Sentinel in downtown Cincinnati are closed for the weekend. It’s the first year that the Oktoberfest celebration will be open on Friday evening. Beer will be available from Beck’s, Budweiser, Christian Moerlein, Erdinger, Hofbrauhaus, Hudepohl, Miller, Rivertown, Samuel Adams, Warsteiner and Yuengling. Other highlights of the 2013 festival include the Running of the Wieners and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance led by George Takei of Star Trek. Don’t miss the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Championship and the fourth annual World Bratwurst Eating Contest either! 5900 people like the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Facebook page.
8. Denver Oktoberfest – Denver, Colorado – Sept 27-29 & October 4-6, 2013
Larimer Street in Denver’s Historic Ballpark Neighborhood is transformed for two weekends as more than 250,000 visit this 44th annual celebration of German culture in Colorado. It started back in 1969 when Fred and Hertha who owned Cafe Promenade decided to tap a keg and serve pretzels outside their cafe. 2013 entertainment includes beer (sponsored by Coors and Samuel Adams) and two stages of live music. There are lots of contests to enjoy over the two weekends with stein hoisting, long dog derby, keg bowling national championship, Dashustlehoff 5K, bratwurst eating contest, and a costume contest. 6900 like the Oktoberfest Denver Facebook page.
7. LA Oktoberfest – Los Angeles, California – October 25-27, 2013
German food, beer and live music can be found on Hollywood Boulevard at this Los Angeles Oktoberfest. Tickets for this event are already sold out so you’ll have to go to their Las Vegas Oktoberfest or one of the other fine Los Angeles Oktoberfests if you didn’t already buy tickets. 7600 people like the LA Oktoberfest Facebook page.
6. Cleveland Oktoberfest – Cleveland, Ohio – Labor Day Weekend (Photo Credit)
Northeast Ohio gets an early start on Oktoberfest every year at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds with this popular Labor Day weekend Oktoberfest. You will have to plan to attend in 2014! More than 8200 people like the Cleveland Oktoberfest Facebook page.
5. Mount Angel Oktoberfest – Mount Angel, Oregon – September 12-15,2013
You just missed the four days of Bavarian fun at the Mount Angel Oktoberfest near Portland. More than 8900 people like the Mount Angel Oktoberfest Facebook page.
4. Appleton Oktoberfest – Appleton, Wisconsin – September 27-28, 2013
Started in 1981, it’s now a mile of fun on College Avenue from Richmond to Lawes Street at this Wisconsin Oktoberfest near Green Bay. They will have more than 100 food vendors and five stages of live music with local and national bands. Friday night includes a classic car show called the License to Cruise. There are also more than 180 arts & crafts vendors and a family fun area with kid-friendly activities and entertainment. More than 9200 people like Appleton’s Oktoberfest Facebook page.
3. Leavenworth Oktoberfest – Leavenworth, Washington – October 4-5, 11-12, and 18-19, 2013
Leavenworth, located two hours east of Seattle, is Washington State’s Bavarian village. More than one million annually visit this town that transformed its appearance in the 1960s from its logging origins. The Oktoberfest, started in 1998, is the first three weekends in October. More than 35,000 are expected at this festival named Best Family Fun/Street Fair by Evening Magazines 2013 The Best Northwest Escapes Viewers Poll. Four stages of live entertainment and music along with a large selection of imported German beer. The Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon will be held on Saturday, October 5th if you want to burn off some calories. More than 16,000 people like the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Facebook page.
2. Oktoberfest USA – La Crosse, Wisconsin – September 27 – October 5, 2013 (Photo Credit)
The first Oktoberfest in La Crosse was held in 1961 and it is now a favorite on lists of the best Oktoberfest in the United States. This is the last year to catch this extended Wisconsin Oktoberfest as it is moving back to an action packed four day format in 2014. There will be lots of live music including Bret Michaels on Monday, September 30th. Beer sponsors include Bud, Coors, Kul, Leinenkugel’s, Miller and Pabst. There is also a craft beer night with beer from more than 40 different breweries. Other 2013 activities include the Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest competition, Festmaster’s Ball, parades, contests, and even a mud run. More than 17,000 people like the La Crosse Oktoberfest Facebook page.
1. Wurstfest – New Braunfels, Texas – November 1-10, 2013
If Munich can push Oktoberfest forward into September, then I guess we can push Oktoberfest back into November to include this popular German Sausage festival. It started in 1961 with a one day sausage festival that 2,000 people attended. It is now ten day celebration of German culture attended by more than 100,000 that was rated the third best festival in Texas. There will be live music, Bavarian entertainment and dancing with more than 40 local, national, and international performers. You will definitely enjoy the German food and beer as well as carnival rides and games. More than 22,000 people like the Wurstfest Facebook page.
Ready to start drinking?
Here is our list of more than 500 paces to celebrate Oktoberfest in the United States so that you can find a German festival near you this weekend. Prost!
Other Best Oktoberfest Lists
We aren’t the first to create a list of the best American Oktoberfest festivals. Here are five from the past ten years that we think you’ll enjoy:
Best Oktoberfests in the U.S. – ABC News (2012)
5 Authentic Oktoberfest Celebrations in the U.S. – Nerd Wallet (2012)
Top 10 American Oktoberfest Destinations – Ask Men (2011)
10 Great Places to Celebrate Oktoberfest – USA Today (2010)
Top Oktoberfests across the United States – Orbitz (2008).
Errors are of course our own. We used PageData to confirm our analysis.
PS: It’s the last day of A Haunted Halloween Giveaway Hop hosted by Mommy’s Favorite Things and Mama’s Baby Cupcakes. On Labor Day, 22 bloggers launched giveaways of Halloween-related items worth more than $25. As part of the Halloween hop, we are giving away some cool Halloween decorations. This is the last day of the giveaway so be sure to enter now!