Each year, countless cities across the United States host their own interpretation of Oktoberfest, a tradition that can trace its roots to Munich, Germany, in the early 18th century.
Originally created as a folk festival, the festival is now known for its diverse beer selection, with many American Oktoberfests offering real German beer imports. If you’d like to attend one of these lively festivals, we’ve compiled a list of eight of the most authentic Oktoberfests in the United States to provide you with plenty of inspiration.
Tempe Town Lake, Arizona
Tempe Town Lake, north of Tempe Butte in Arizona, hosts an annual German-style festival that spans three lively days. This family-friendly event features live music, delicious brats, and inviting beer gardens. Attendees can also enjoy unique attractions like polka performances, dachshund races and keg tappings, as well as karaoke, rides and activities for children. As night falls, the festival grounds transform into a bustling concert venue, offering a diverse entertainment program for all.
Fredericksburg is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and its deep German heritage has earned it the title of ‘Polka Capital of Texas’ Fredericksburg doesn’t hold back on that Teutonic heritage, but celebrates it wholeheartedly, especially during its annual Oktoberfest. The event spans three festive days and features a wide range of activities, including lively oompah music, arts and crafts, shopping, a dedicated children’s area, an impressive selection of 50 beers.
Mount Angel, Oregon
Every September, Mount Angel Oktoberfest commemorates its Bavarian and Swiss roots and extends a warm invitation to some 350,000 visitors. Festival-goers flock to immerse themselves in the rich cultural experience and enjoy the festivities. Each of the four days of the event begins with the traditional ‘webertanz.’ In addition, visitors have the opportunity to admire the Maibaum and Fruchtsäule while strolling among the 50 food stalls that look like alpine chalets. The festival also features five beer gardens where visitors can enjoy a variety of German beers, wines and locally crafted brews.
Alpine Village, California
Since 1968, Alpine Village, a Bavarian-inspired center for shopping, dining and entertainment in Southern California, has maintained an annual tradition. This famous Oktoberfest spans an entire month and offers an authentic German experience with beer, cuisine and lively oompah bands. True aficionados can enjoy HofBrau beer imported directly from Munich, along with delicious German delicacies like pork schnitzel sandwiches. A market at the venue offers an array of German sausages and baked goods, and the event promises all the Bavarian singing and dancing you could ask for.
In the resort areas outside Denver, foliage starts early, but in October, the city’s foliage takes center stage. It’s easy to see from the Cherry Creek Regional Trail and the High Line Canal, which is lined with bright yellow cottonwoods. The Great American Beer Festival and Denver Oktoberfest are just two of the beer events held here in the fall.
Salt Lake City, Utah
In Salt Lake City, fall usually means lower prices, fewer tourists and the chance to admire the bright foliage on a drive or hike along Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Utah State Fair, which takes place northwest of downtown each September and has its own rodeo, is also present this time of year. And don’t forget to purchase your tickets for Oktoberfest, held each year between August and mid-October at Snowbird Ski Area, which features beer, German cuisine and live music.
San Antonio, Texas
With the arrival of fall, the scorching temperatures in this Texas city are beginning to ease, and residents are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. Events on the calendar include the lively Oktoberfest at Biergarten River Walk, the vibrant Day of the Dead celebrations following Halloween, and the delicious Tasting Texas Wine and Food Festival.
Leavenworth, Washington State
The small community of Leavenworth in Washington State hosts a wonderful Oktoberfest every year. The alpine village, nestled among the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains, attracts local merchants, artists, and craftsmen who display their Bavarian wares before the eyes of a large crowd of residents and tourists.