Written by: Brian Foster
09/17/2010 4:30 PM
In 1810 the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich Germany. Since then this annual festival has taken the world by storm. Cities all over the globe celebrate this Bavarian tradition, especially those with German immigrants. You don't have to be German or even travel to Bavaria, Germany's second largest state, to get a taste of Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is celebrated in various locations throughout the United States. If you're planning to celebrate locally check out German restaurants and bars for events. German organizations and clubs also host fundraising events that can be fun.
Any Oktoberfest celebration is not complete without polka music, dancing, German cuisine like Sauerkraut or soft pretzels with mustard and a good German beer. We know that everyone can't make it to Deutschland but to celebrate in the traditional fashion. So we have put together five top Oktoberfest events happening around the US. Start planning early since Oktoberfest actually begins in September. Oktoberfest is traditionally held on the 16 days leading up to and including the first Sunday in October. However some Oktoberfest events begin as early as September 5th.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco's Oktoberfest by the bay is an excellent celebration that takes place on Pier 48 in San Fran. There will be nonstop music, singing, dancing and the best German food and beer around. There will be a live Bavarian band playing and traditional Bavarian dancers will perform every couple of hours. Tickets range from $25 on Thursday to $30 all other days. Thursday's admission price includes your first beer and a bratwurst in a bun! Tables can also be reserved on Thursday for groups of ten or more. Attendees are encouraged to bring their children on Sunday as they are not allowed on Friday and Saturday night. Kids under 12 get in for free and under 18 is $5. Since the event takes place on Pier 48 no dogs are allowed.
September 23rd - 26th
The Chico Bavarian Band will be performing all weekend long as well as the Internationals. Don't miss out on Deutscher Musikverein either. They're an excellent local San Francisco band!
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Denver, Colorado's 41st Oktoberfest is being held on two consecutive weekends in September. The ceremony begins September 17th when Sam Adams founder Jim Koch taps the first keg. Denver's Oktoberfest will have a Dashustlehoff 5K running race, as well as two stages with Rock and Authentic German music. For all you Dachshund owners there's a long dog derby. There's also an invitational brewing competition for anyone who makes his or her own homebrew.
September 17th - 19th and September 24th - 26th
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Helen, Georgia is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River. This small mountain town was re-designed in the sixties by an architect who was stationed in Germany. Helen's atmosphere is a great tribute to Bavaria, as the architecture makes you feel as though you're actually in Germany. Helen Chamber's website describes it like this, "Helen is a re-creation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers". From the gingerbread trim on the buildings to the outdoor landscapes painted around town, visitors get a feel for what immigrants would have seen coming from Bavaria to Georgia. They also get a taste of it, as every day of Oktoberfest you will find Polka Music, Dancing, Brats, German Beer, and classic long tables for mingling with others.
September 9th - 19th and September 23rd - October 31st
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Newport, KY Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall & Newport Oktoberfest on the Riverfront
Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
Kentucky is home to Americas first authentic Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall and Restaurant. The Kentucky version is modeled after the original brewery and beer hall in Munich, which is over 400 years old. Translated, Hofbrauhaus means royal court brewery or royal beer factory. In Germany the Hofbrauhaus brand has the second largest tent at the Munich Fair and is a major attraction.
Hofbrauhaus Newport carries on the German tradition very well. They offer plenty of seating for people to mingle, with a capacity of 250 in the restaurant and 400 in their Bier Garden. Just like its German counterpart they brew their own beer on site. Newport Hofbrauhaus hosts' events all year round but things really start to pick up around Oktoberfest.
Check out other Hofbrauhaus locations in Pennsylvania, Miami Florida, Panama City Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
September 17th - 19th
Live music from Friday night to Sunday night
Newport Oktoberfest on the Riverfront
There will also be a Newport Oktoberfest on the Riverfront. This outdoor event will be in the Munich Oktoberfest style of large festival tents sponsored by German Beer Breweries. Each tent will have food, beer and music. There will also be continuous live German entertainment and restaurants participating.
September 24th - 26th
Food, beer and German entertainment each day
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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Hofbrauhaus, Las Vegas is the only true replica of the original 1589 Munich Hofbrauhaus. It is truly a beautiful recreation of old world German architecture. Located on Paradise & Harmon across from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Saturday, September 18th is the Oktoberfest Kickoff
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