For any beer loving imbiber, celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany will rank high on one’s bucket list. Oktoberfest in Munich can be one of those life-affirming events where copious amounts of beer are served, friendships are forged despite language barriers, roller coasters cruise, and John Denver’s “Country Roads” play over and over and over again.
Oktoberfest is one of those rare social gatherings where, despite frequent displays of public drunkenness, the mood remains positively light and jolly; people are neighborly, happy, warm, and fun.
And while I’m one of the purists who believe that there’s only one real Oktoberfest (in Munich and surrounding Bavaria), I do acknowledge that the spirit of Oktoberfest lives and is replicated at festivals and taverns around the globe each year around the end of September and early October.
Some of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in North America (500,000 people ++) take place in the following cities and are unique in their featuring local beers, restaurants, artists, and businesses:
And while visiting one of these larger celebrations is definitely worthy of your visit and dollar, finding the spirit of Oktoberfest can also be as easy as visiting your local pub, german restaurant, or beer garden. Increasingly more and more local establishments are starting to celebrate Oktoberfest, bringing their local communities together to drink beer, laugh, and sing.
If you’re going to venture out locally to celebrate Oktoberfest, do so responsibly, and try and partake in a couple of key traditions:
- Drink a Bavarian beer
- Eat a Bratwurst
- Hug a stranger you meet in line for the restroom
- Sing “Country Roads” at least 3 times.