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Oktoberfests Around the World

September 22, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest has already started, but there are many other opportunities throughout the actual month of October to enjoy great beer, dress up in dirndls, dance a polka and celebrate all things German. Here is’s list of notable Oktoberfests around the world!

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

(, Cincinnati, September 17-20

Cincinnati has its own version of Munich's phenomenon, called Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, which gets off to a roaring start with the Gemuetlichkeit Games—a round of German-related competitions. These games themselves would be enough to intrigue any potential visitors, with names like "The Running of the Wieners," the "Beer Barrel Roll" and the "Beer Stein Race." Rumored to be North America's largest Oktoberfest mimic, Zinzinnati has been around since 1976.


Shanghai Oktoberfest

(, Shanghai, September 16-26

The biggest of the Chinese Oktoberfest events, it has an elaborate menu that is an infusion of Asian and German dishes, with a little Hungarian goulash thrown in for extra excitement. And the beer selection is just as wide. There is even a dedicated ladies night!

Oktoberfest, Canberra

(, Australia, October 30-November 1

Ladies and gents will need their best Bavarian outfits for this particular German-styled fair, because there are dirndl and lederhosen competitions to be won. A stellar beer stein will also come in handy, with beer stein challenges to test your mettle. And don't miss out on the chance to try out your folk dance skills, or at least watch the pros perform instead.


(, British Isles: Aberdeen— October 1-2; London— October 21-23; Glasgow— October 22; Edinburgh— October 23; Dublin— October 30-31; Manchester— November 19-20

A series of Oktoberfest-inspired Bierfests are held across the UK & Ireland, from Dublin to London. These 1-3 day events include typical Bavarian meals, music and entertainment with girls dressed in dirndl serving out as much beer as you can drink!

Oktoberfest Blumenau

(, Blumenau, Brazil, October 1-18

One of the largest Oktoberfests outside of Germany happens in the unlikely location of Blumenau, a Brazilian city established by Germans in the mid 1800s. This year will see introduction of new beers to sample, as well as a bigger and better beer zone. And they'll need it too; around one million beer guzzlers are expected this year.

Rocktoberfest Japan (, Okinawa, Japan, October 10-11

The cleverly named Rocktoberfest is exactly what it implies; one big two-day rock (plus punk and metal) concert, held on Torii Beach on the sub-tropical island of Okinawa. With beer, bands and a beach all wrapped together, this is Oktoberfest—Japanese style!

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

(, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, October 9-17

Known as "Canada's Greatest Bavarian Festival", this autumn shindig is also a great value according to WestJet, who gave it a  Value Award. Their "Millions of Monarchs" butterfly exhibit, Berlin art gallery, treasure hunt, and murder mystery train ride sets this party apart from the other ones, and it's especially good for families with kids who are of pre-beer drinking age.

Oktoberfest USA

(, La Crosse, Wisconsin, September 25-October 3  

La Crosse, home to a large number of German immigrants, has been the proud host of Oktoberfest USA since 1961. In a European spirit, each year an Oktoberfest Royal Family is crowned, which includes the choosing of Miss La Crosse, who can go on to become a candidate for Miss Wisconsin and even Miss America. Parades, family days, a half marathon and daily concerts are some of the highlights.

Oktoberfest Hannover

(, Hannover, Germany, September 25-October 11

To try another German city’s Oktoberfest, head to the northern state of Lower Saxony. Seven different bakeries and several candy shops set up shop at the Hannover fest. Noted to be a very family-friendly event, the rides, games and adventures to be had there are unrivaled. Friday night fireworks displays and a lantern parade keep the good times rolling even after dark.

Fremont Oktoberfest

(, Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, September 18-20

Oktoberfest re-creations are the most common in the U.S., so for the 10th recommendation we head back to American soil, but this time we're going to the west coast. Fremont's festival has some very unique aspects that go way beyond your average Oktoberfest offerings; the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest, a comedy show and Dog Day Afternoon give this Oktoberfest its own special flavor.


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