October is here and fall festivals are in full swing — with one exception. Although there are still a few high profile Oktoberfests on the brilliantly hued horizon, the beer festival season is already winding down. Wait, what? Right, most Oktoberfests take place in September and if you’ve ever wondered why, there are two basic reasons – refrigeration and weather.
While the first official Oktoberfest celebration was held on October 12 – 17, 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (more on this in a minute), the true origins of the world’s favorite party date to the 15th century. The lack of refrigeration meant that once autumn-brewed beer reached its storage limit at the end of summer, everything that was left needed to be consumed to free up the kegs for the new batch of brew (it was a tough job, but someone had to do it). Since brewing began in the crisp days of October, September was the time to get the party started.
Back to the prince and princess. Their “everyone’s invited” wedding party was such a huge success that Munich’s administrators decided to keep having it every year. It wasn’t long before everyone agreed that the longer, warmer September days were better for outdoor partying, and it was a bonus that this alternate schedule coincided with the traditional keg-emptying ritual.
As the party spread around the world, the September option went with it — but not as a hard and fast rule. As we mentioned, there are still some first-rate Oktoberfests in the works this month that you’ve got plenty of time to get to, and we’ve dug up some great hotel deals for when it’s time to crash after a hard day of keg-draining.
Torrance/Los Angeles, CA
Alpine Village Oktoberfest
Every Weekend thru October 28, 2017
Rated among the Top 10 Oktoberfests in the United States by USA Today, this Southern California Alpine Village festival takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 28. The Bavarian-inspired fun includes Oom Pah bands, traditional German fare, and premium German beers brewed by Warsteiner. Bonus – it all takes place just 10 miles from California’s beautiful beaches. Click here to visit the Torrance Oktoberfest website.
Browse Torrance Hotel Deals for Oct. 20-22 (Don’t see anything you like? Change the search to greater Los Angeles and/or another festival weekend.)
October 14, 2017
Beer, food, music, philanthropy, Philly! The City of Brotherly Love’s one-day-only Oktoberfest will take over 3 blocks of South Street between Broad Street and 18th Street on October 14, from Noon to 8:00pm. Free and open to all ages, the party will be anchored by headliner music act Bent Knee. Munchies will be everywhere with 17 food trucks serving up everything from BBQ to sushi. And, of course, there will be copious amounts of beer and cider served up by 8 local breweries
One last thing — given the city’s spirit of brotherly love, it’s no surprise that the festival is held for a good cause. Over the past six years, Bloktoberfest has helped the South of South Neighborhood and Philadelphia as a whole by raising over $180,000 for various charitable causes. Click here to visit Philadelphia’s Blocktoberfest website.
German Beer Festival & Street Fair
October 5 – 8, 2017
This epic 4-day event is Nashville’s oldest and largest festival, as well as the second largest Oktoberfest in America. Admission is free to the 38th annual party that celebrates the traditions of the Munich original in the heart of Music City.
Covering a whopping 10 city blocks, this fair has a lot more than beer to draw the festive crowds, priding itself on having something for everyone. Of course, the highlights do start with a collection of world-class beers from local and German breweries, which are complemented by German traditional fare and specialties served up by dozens of restaurants. The entertainment is a blast, with 3 stages of live German music, Wiener dog races, an enormous parade, a 5K race, and much more. Even shopaholics find their fun here, with over 125 Arts & Crafts vendors offering up their creations. Click here to visit Nashville’s German Beer Festival & Street Fair website.
Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake
October 13 – 15, 2017
This 3-day festival is a knock-out so chock-full of attractions that we can only give you a hint of what’s in store for you at the free celebration for all ages. Let’s start with the spirits – there will be Four Peaks brews (from the festival sponsor), Spatan brews (the world’s first Oktoberfest beers), and Barefoot Wine. And the food? Yum. There are 5 bratwurst tents, amusement carnival treats, noodle specialties, and delicious desserts.
There’s a beer tasting event-within-an-event. Live band karaoke. Dueling bands. Oom Pah and polka day. Superhero Sunday characters parade and costume contest for kids and adults. Dachshund races. Premium carnival rides. And it goes on. Click here for all the details at Tempe’s Four Peaks Oktoberfest website.
Do you know of another wunderbar Oktoberfest that revelers-in-waiting should hear about? Share it in the comments section!