By Marla Cimini
Across the U.S.A., celebrating German Oktoberfest has become a much-anticipated annual event, attracting rambunctious revelers who embrace this Bavarian autumn tradition. In addition to foamy golden lagers, pilsners and other brews, these spirited events feature live oompah bands, dancing and a variety of mouthwatering German specialties, including soft pretzels, sausages and schnitzel. Many cities and towns host major festivities, welcoming visitors to raise a stein and toast the season.
Here are a few Oktoberfest parties worth checking out (lederhosen optional):
In its 22nd year, one of the more popular Oktoberfest celebrations in the Rocky Mountains takes place in Breckenridge. Set for September 9 – 11, 2016, this annual extravaganza is held along the town’s historic main street with more than 30 vendors that provide a variety of entertainment, along with tastes of genuine German cuisine and a selection of Bavarian-style brews.
Showcasing all things German, Vail’s Oktoberfest features fun Bavarian music and a wide array of traditional fare, including a bratwurst-eating contest. In addition to beer sipping, participants are invited to try dancing, yodeling, alpenhorn blowing and other activities. This German beer festival is held every September in two Vail locations: Lionshead Village and Vail Village.
For festival fun in Central Florida, the annual Oktoberfest at Orlando Brewing includes a full day of celebrating in mid-September, with activities that include an official beer tapping, German food trucks, live music and the official crowning of “Mrs. and Mr. Oktoberfest.” Meanwhile, downtown Orlando hosts an event of its own at the area’s “Blocktoberfest” street party with plenty of German drinks, European cuisine and classic Oktoberfest polka music. Guests must be 21 and over.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, the annual Bluffton International and Craft Beer Fest is held each November. Located at the Oyster Factory Park overlooking the May River, this Oktoberfest location draws a huge crowd with more than 200 of the world’s best ales, stouts, lagers and pilsners from more than 70 breweries across the globe. Guests return each year to enjoy traditional music and mouthwatering cuisine from area restaurants.
Panama City Beach, Florida
With a name like Hofbrau Beer Garden, celebrating Oktoberfest is always a major annual highlight! Attracting locals and tourists alike, this October festival honors German customs through 50 specialty booths, showcasing a variety of tasty German beers, delectable Bavarian-style dishes and music worthy of an authentic biergarten in the center of Munich.
Hatteras Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina
This October, the Pangea Tavern will host its OctoBEER Fest, spotlighting a variety of North Carolina craft brews. Throughout the day, authentic German fare will be served, while local brew masters and beer experts will offer tastings, talks and giveaways. Scheduled for October 10, 2016, the festival will also feature live music, entertainment and activities for kids during the day.
Freelance journalist Marla Cimini has a passion for travel, music and culinary adventures (combining all three whenever possible). Her articles have appeared in USA TODAY and numerous publications worldwide.
* This article is purely intended for entertainment purposes. Wyndham Vacation Rentals encourages individuals of legal drinking age who wish to consume alcoholic beverages to do so in a responsible manner. Please drink with moderation.