When the air turns crisp, the leaves turn colors, Vinnie knows it’s time for beer and brats! He says say you don’t have to be German to enjoy these upcoming Oktoberfests:
Milwaukee is host to the oldest and “most authentic” Bavarian Oktoberfest in the Midwest. Modeled after the one held in Munich, it is held every Sept. on the four weekends following Labor Day, beginning on Fridays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m. The main festivities take place in the Bavarian Fest Garten, an Alpine style pavilion. Entertainment includes Schuhplatter (traditional Alpine folk dancing), yodeling and sing-alongs. Many types of beer and wine will be offered as well as authentic German food such as Spanferkl (spit-roasted suckling pig dinner); Kassler Rippchen (smoked pork chop dinner) and Schwein Schmankerl (pig head or pig feet from spit-roasted pig) and bratwurst. Coffee and soft drinks available too. Costs are $5 at the door and $4 in advance; active military, veterans and first responders admitted for free.
The family–friendly Oktoberfest Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion is scheduled for Sept. 24 – 26. The fest claims it is an authentic German celebration with “just the right amount of Texas thrown in.” Attendees will find food, music, dancing, biergartens and lots of games including dachshund races, beer-barrel rolling contests and stein-hosting competitions. Admission ranges from $3 to $15.
On Sept. 27, Philadelphia will host the Xfinity Live Xtoberfest, the sports entertainment venue located across the street from Citizens Bank Park. Voted one of the top-10 Oktoberfests in the country by Draft Magazine, the indoor-outdoor party features beer gardens/tents with 200+ craft beers to enjoy in custom made steins plus food trucks, multiple musical acts, contests and more. Tickets range from $15 to $40 and include free parking.
San Diego will host its Ocean Beach Oktoberfest Oct. 9 – 10 at Ocean Beach Pier. Event-goers can participate in the Brat Trot Beach Run, a sausage toss, stein holding contest and cheer on their favorite contestant in the Ms. Oktoberfest pageant contest while enjoying craft beers, German food and live music.
Chicago is home to the 30th Annual Berghoff Oktoberfest, Sept. 16 – 18 the city’s largest, longest-running Oktoberfest celebration with free daily admission at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza. A traditional toast at 11 a.m. Sept. 16 kicks-off the outdoor celebration, which features beer, brats and live music. Attendees can purchase a 30th Anniversary Commemorative Beer Stein, with proceeds benefiting Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. For family fun, head to the German American Fest Sept. 11-13, 2015. Admission is free and the neighborhood festival features German food, beverages, singing and dancing plus the Von Steuben Parade which kicks off on Saturday at 2 p.m. Most of the areas German heritage societies participate in both the parade and festival.