With the fall finally here, it’s a good bet that you and your friends will be headed out to arguably the most traditional festival of the season — Oktoberfest. And while I think it’s safe to say most of us won’t be making the trip to Munich for the official celebration (Sept. 20-Oct. 5), there are plenty of options stateside for a real taste of Germany. Whether it’s in a small town, major city, German beer hall or vintage barn, Oktoberfest is always great fun. But we’re not talking about the generic beer garden and polka band here. We’re talking about German-American communities getting down the same way their ancestors and countrymen have been doing across the pond for centuries. I mean, you wouldn’t go to a Mexican restaurant for St. Patrick’s Day, would you? Of course not!
So let’s break out the bratwurst, slap down some sauerkraut and, of course, tap the kegs on some of America’s most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations.
Cincinnati (Sept. 19-21)
Perhaps the largest and most popular Oktoberfest in the US is smack dab in the middle of the country —not surprisingly, in a city rich with German culture. Cincinnati (or Zinzinnati this time of year) plays host to thousands of Oktoberfest supporters, young and old, each fall with the city’s signature festival. With six blocks closed down for the party, there is plenty of room for you and your friends to don some lederhosen, down a few liters of beer and stuff your faces with German cuisine. Founded in 1976, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati may be best known for earning its place in the Guinness Book of Records by setting the mark for the world’s largest Chicken Dance at the time, with 48,000 people in 1994. The traditional dance is still going strong 20 years later, along with numerous other German games and dances throughout the three-day festival. READ MORE