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How to celebrate your local Oktoberfest in style

Posted by Mark Cohen on

In Germany, Oktoberfest runs from mid-September to the first week in October, but here in the U.S. any time in October is a good time to celebrate. We don't have the official opening ceremony of tapping the first barrel to kick off the celebration. But in the tradition of Oktoberfest, drinking beer, eating German food, celebrating and maybe some singing will be enough to imagine you are in Germany at the original German Oktoberfest. Whether or not you choose to wear Lederhosen, here are some ideas for celebrating in your own hometown.

1) Provide some authentic German beer to sample

Find some regional German beer to sample. Some people have found that beer in the U.S. is simply nothing in comparison to a German beer. There are lots of stores (and if not, online) where you can purchase beer to try. To sample these beers, beer mugs, pilsners and steins are perfect for imbibing and getting into the spirit.

2) Try some great German food

With that German beer, you can have some salty pretzels. Pretzels are easy to find at almost any supermarket.  There are traditional meats here in the U.S. like hot dogs, franks, and weiners that, after they are grilled, can be cut into appetizer size chunks and served with toothpicks. For the more adventuresome, authentic German sausages like Landjager are great. Remember, "wurst" is German for sausage so any sausage whose name ends in wurst is a safe bet.

3) Enter a costume parade

If you are really brave, you can join in with a local costume parade. Or have a costume parade at your own home Octoberfest. Play some traditional German music in the background to set the mood. If you don't have a costume, carrying a beer mug or stein will probably suffice.

4) Attend concerts or listen to a big brass band

You don't have to be able to play a horn or accordian to participate in an Octorberfest concert. Street fairs, traveling big brass bands and other festival goers will play plenty of oom-pah-pah for everone! Clap your hands to the music and stomp your feet in time to the beat.

5) Dance the German polka or equivalent

You will probably feel like you have two left feet when you try it, but attempting the German polka in time to the music can be a riot. You have to try it to believe it! Just join in and have fun...

Lastly, the Octoberfest is a celebration for all ages. You don't have to speak German to participate and have fun! Just roll out the barrel and start the party.

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