Are you going to an Oktoberfest festival this year? All over the world, people are lifting their beer glasses (or steins) to celebrate the start of the world's largest festival in Munich, Germany. With over 5 million people expected at this year's celebration in Munich alone, it isn't too surprising it is one of the most celebrated festivals. If you don't live in Germany, don't worry, there are Oktoberfest celebrations happening all over the United States, allowing everyone to take part in some German fun!
What is Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a 16 - 18 days festivals held annually in Munich Germany, starting typically at the end of September and ending the first weekend of October. This festival is an important part of Bavarian and German culture, celebrating traditional German beers, foods, dance, music, and other cultural games.
Since the United States and Canada have a very large group that identify themselves as being of German heritage, you can find hundreds of local festivals. Currently, the largest Oktoberfest in the United States is the American Oktoberfest of Zinzinnati (Cincinnati, OH). In most area, admission to local Oktoberfest festivals is free or only a very small entrance fee.
Throwing Your Own Oktoberfest Party
If there is currently not an Oktoberfest festival going on in your area, don't worry! It is very easy to throw a small Oktoberfest in your own backyard or neighborhood. For your own backyard festival, we recommend purchasing a keg of German beer (preferably from Munich), getting a CD of traditional German music, and some outdoor games for not only children, but adults. Many adults love playing drinking games during Oktoberfest, especially drink drop games, horseshoes, and other traditional outdoor party games.
Quite a few cities also combine Oktoberfest with fall activities for children. It is not too uncommon to have face painting and hayrides for kids. Since hayrides are really only possible if you live on a farm, consider just going with fall themed activities - such as craft projects and pumpkin painting.
To make things easier on you and your guests, do not forget to pick up disposable table clothes and paper-ware. With a lot of people drinking beer and sodas at your Oktoberfest, you may find yourself constantly cleaning if you do not get disposable tableware. For the party, go with a green color scheme, which is a bit more traditional for many Oktoberfest celebrations. If you want to use reusable cups, however, consider purchasing some plastic tableware or steins for your celebration!
While German beer is an important part of Oktoberfest, many people love going to this festival to enjoy German delicacies. If you love to cook this is the perfect time to prepare some delicious German food! We included some of our favorite German recipes below that are perfect for Oktoberfest celebrations.
- Black Forest Famous Oktoberfest Chicken
- Black Forest Famous Sauerkraut Balls
- Mick Noll's Potato Cakes
- Servatii's Super Oktoberfest Cream Puffs
- German Spaetzle Dumplings
- Wisconsin Bratwurst
With a little bit of preparation, you will have all of your friend talking about Oktoberfest! If you are serving beer to the public, just make sure you are following all of your local laws and regulations!