Oktoberfest 2009

It’s officially Fall here in the U.S. and that means it’s time to party German-style. Traditionally, Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day celebration held each year in Munich, Germany during late-September up to (and including) the first Sunday in October. But sometimes it’s just not possible to get away to Munich.

If you’re craving brats, beer, and a steady oompah beat, here’s a run down of a few upcoming U.S. Oktoberfest celebrations from coast-to-coast.

Hillsborough, NH

Hillsborough celebrates its German heritage with an annual Schnitzelfest, a traditional Oktoberfest celebration complete with beer, sausage, and lederhosen. You can catch Schnitzelfest this year at Butler Park (corner of West Main and Central Streets) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Admission is free.

Denver, CO

Denver has been hosting Oktoberfest for 40 years. With a Long Dog Derby, the Das Hustle Hoff Race, and Karneval fun for all ages, this year’s anniversary celebration is sure to be entertaining. Denver’s festivities started on Friday, September 18, 2009, but you can still catch it on Sunday, September 27, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd Streets.

Savannah, GA

That combined aroma of beer, sauerkraut, and sausage that you smell coming from the waterfront is the annual Oktoberfest on the River, which has evolved to be Savannah’s second-largest celebration (behind only St. Patrick’s Day). Live entertainment is featured, though of course the attraction is the aforementioned beer and German food. A highlight is the Saturday morning “Weiner Dog races.” This year’s Oktoberfest on the River runs October 2–4, 2009.

Fredericksburg, TX

Fredericksburg’s German heritage is a major tourist draw any time of the year, but the town really goes all out for its Oktoberfest ($6 adults, $1 children 6–12 years, under 6 years free, $10 2-day passes, $15 3-day passes). This year’s event is October 2–4, 2009 at the Markplatz (the 100 block of West Main Street) in town.

Morovis, PR

Oktoberfest in the Caribbean? You bet! Casa Bavaria in Morovis, Puerto Rico celebrates Oktoberfest the first and second weekends of October with live bands all weekend long. Be forewarned: There’s an infectious party atmosphere here that will have you drinking shots of Jägermeister before you know it!

Nashville, TN

Oktoberfest is a Nashville tradition. Held in historic Germantown north of the Bicentennial Mall, this weekend festival is enhanced by its setting in what was once Nashville’s German enclave. Events include a walk-run, church services, and a street fair with German music, food, and other entertainment. This year’s event will be Saturday, October 10, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

St. Paul, MN

With local and ethnic vendors, live music and dancing, and, of course, plenty of German food and beer, St. Paul celebrates Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 10, 2009. Locals in the know say the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter restaurant keeps the celebration going long after the official party is over.

Los Angeles, CA

Downtown Los Angeles is hosting its first ever Oktoberfest this year on Saturday, October 10th at the L.A. Mart (1933 S. Broadway) from 1 p.m.–6 p.m. Admission is $15 and includes a souvenir stein already filled with beer. Be sure to catch (or play in) the Beerpong Tournament! Event proceeds are to be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Cambridge, MA

Cambridge is celebrating its 30th Annual Oktoberfest and Honk! Festival Parade this year on Sunday, October 11, 2009 from noon to 6 p.m. throughout the Harvard Square area. With six stages of live entertainment, more than 50 international food vendors, hot air balloon rides, and special kids activities, it’s sure to be a good time.

San Diego, CA

San Diego is holding its annual Oktoberfest at Ocean Beach (at the end of Newport Avenue) on Saturday, October 11, 2009 from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Sun, sand, surf, and sausage. What’s not to enjoy?

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, the Pacific Northwest’s most fanciful Bavarian village set in the Cascades, celebrates Oktoberfest the first three weekends in October. On any given day of the year Leavenworth is like stepping into a traditional Bavarian village where you’ll find women wearing Bavarian dirndl dresses and men wearing lederhosen. So what sets Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest apart? More live music, more authentic food, more beer… need we say more?

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