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10 Oktoberfests to Visit If You Can't Make it To Munich
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10 Oktoberfests to Visit If You Can’t Make it To Munich

As throngs of thirsty folk head to the halls for Oktoberfest 2015, we round up our favorite Oktoberfests around the country.

Oktoberfest, Fredericksburg, Texas

Texas has strong ties to Germany—Texas German, a dialect, is still used amongst the city’s older population. It makes sense then, that towns like Fredericksburg (named after the Ping of Prussia) know how to throw down for Oktoberfest (nearby Addison’s Oktoberfest pulls in over 70,000 visitors each September). Fritztown’s Oktoberfest is smaller, but just as Germanic. Plus, there’s a tuba festival, lovingly called OkTubaFest. (October 2-4)

Harpoon Octoberfest, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s biggest Oktoberfest celebration takes place in Harpoon Brewery. The brewery showcases its fall beers, and a local German restaurant brings in the festival’s fare. And don’t worry, there will be chicken dance. (October 2-3)

Acadia’s Oktoberfest, Southwest Harbor, Maine

More than 20 breweries take part in this picture-perfect Oktoberfest, which nods to the Bavarian beerfest without getting too verrückt (that would be crazy). While Saturday is for beer and brats, Friday night is for wine and cheese. (October 9-11)

Soulard Oktoberfest, Soulard, Missouri

The Soulard Oktoberfest has all the standard Bavarian food (plus tacos and doughnuts) and festivities, and proceeds benefit St. Louis-area non-profits and German cultural organizations. So you can pat yourself on the back for paying the $5 admission fee, or wear your lederhosen and get in for free. (October 9-11)

Courtesy Harpoon Brewery

Boston’s Harpoon Octoberfest

New Ulm Oktoberfest, New Ulm, Minnesota

New Ulm was founded by German immigrants in 1854, and is still the sister city to Germany’s Ulm. The city’s history and rich brewing culture makes for a boisterous Oktoberfest with all the usual draws, plus a 45-foot glockenspiel. (October 3 & 10)

Leavenworth Oktoberfest, Leavenworth, Washington

This Washington mountain town was modeled after a Bavarian village, and so Leavenworth definitely lends itself well to Oktoberfest. Granted, the menu offerings skew more American than authentic—brats on buns are accompanied with cole slaw and baked beans. (Weekends from October 2-17)

Oktoberfest at the Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Gaithersburg’s Oktoberfest stretches across the picturesque Kentland Village Green, Kentlands Mansion, Main Street, and Market Square—plenty of room for the horse-drawn wagon rides, apple-cider pressing, artists, a cappella groups, and more traditional performers like the Alte Kameraden German Band and the Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers. (October 11)

Linde Oktoberfest, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bon Appetit considers this to be one of the best German food festivals in the country, and sponsor Lufthansa is responsible for importing in its Bavarian talent. Needless to say, Tulsa’s Oktoberfest is legit. (October 22-25)

Photo courtesy PhotoBliss/Alamy

The street parade at Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest.

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, Big Bear Lake, California

The spawning San Bernadino festival is one of the most revered Oktoberfests in the United States, and extensive to say the least—there are three sponsored biergartens (Shock Top, Spaten, and Warsteiner), as well as a variety of bars inside the main tent. We suggest making time to watch the Polka Tots, a group of two- to 12-year-olds that serve as the fest’s official dance group. (Weekends until October 31)

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest, Bear Mountain, New York

This Oktoberfest makes up in scenery what it lacks in size—enjoy your pretzel and polka music while sneaking in some Hudson Valley leaf peeping. Some packages include a cruise up the scenic Hudson River. (Weekends until October 31, plus Columbus Day)


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