Discovering Heritages from Around the World: Oktoberfest

Are you German? Have you ever been to an Oktoberfest? And, no, that isn’t a misspelling. Oktoberfest is a German festival filled with beer, pretzels, lederhosen, and fun music. As part of our Discovering Heritages from Around the World series, let’s learn about Oktoberfest

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest started as the wedding celebration of King Ludwig I when he married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 12, 1810.

Octoberfest as we know it today started in Munch, Germany with a festival that lasts about two weeks (September 22 – October 7, 2018) and has roughly six million visitors from around the world each year.

Various Oktoberfest Festivities

Fun and Games oktoberfest-kid

Oktoberfest is all about fun and celebration. Take part in the German festivities with some games that can involve the entire family.

  • Kazoo March
  • Ein, Zwei, Drei
  • Beer Stein Race
  • Beer Barrel Roll Race
  • Pretzel Making
  • Giant Chess
  • Beer Checkers

Food oktoberfest-food

German food can be tasty!

Here’s a short list of food you can expect to see at festivals

  • Sausages (Würstl)
  • Pretzels (Brezen)
  • Roast Chicken or Pork
  • Roasted ham hock (Schweinshaxe)
  • Grilled fish on a stick (Steckerlfisch)
  • Potato or flour dumplings (Knödel)
  • Cheese noodles (Käsespätzle)

You won’t leave an Oktoberfest hungry!

Music and Dancingoktoberfest-music

It’s a festival! Of course there’s music dancing! German music. Singing and dancing galore. Tubas, trombones, trumpets, accordions, alphorns.  Think polka music and lots of it!

Check out this video from the 2014 Munch Oktoberfest.


Beer (Märzen)oktoberfest-beer 

Germans definitely know their beer!  Märzen is the traditional beer of Oktoberfest that boasts a medium to full body beer that varies in color from pale to amber and dark brown. It’s the traditional band may vary in color from pale through amber to dark brown.

Many breweries in the United States come up with their own special brew to be served and presented.

Not a beer person? It’s okay, they have wine too!

Where Can You Find a Festival Near You?

Maybe you aren’t German? That’s okay! Everyone can join in on Oktoberfest activities. offers an extensive list by state so you can find the closest Oktoberfest to you is. Some festivals are already starting the weekend of August 24, 2018! Hurry and don’t miss the fun and family time!