Americans have a habit of adopting foreign traditions and, in a way, turning them into our own holidays. After all, this is a land where anyone is free to celebrate their heritage, and if there's good food and drink involved, why not bring all your friends along for your Motherland's bash? St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Oktoberfest are prime examples of this, and it's time again to pretend it's cold outside and chug a good German beer.
This year, you have both new and old Oktoberfest events to choose from, and we've round them all up so you can choose where to wear your lederhosen and swing around your stein. There are German celebrations starting this week all the way to the end of October, so if you love a good German brat and can't resist polka, read on.
6. Biergarten, Boca Raton.
You can eat and drink German fare every day of the week at the Biergarten of Boca, but at its annual Oktoberfest, the place adds a special touch to its menu and live entertainment lineup. The folks here are so excited about it, they have a running countdown on their website. Their weekend event, from September 30 to October 2, features a German dancing band, tapping of the keg with the Mayor of Boca Raton, a liter-holding contest, and live music by King’s Highway. There will also be a pig roast, lots of giveaways, and a beer truck by Warsteiner. On Sunday, get the benefits of happy hour all day with $5 Oktoberfest pints, $5 Jägermeister shots, and $5 Warsteiner pints. Visit facebook.com.
5. Due South Oktoberfest, Boynton Beach.
Why not celebrate the spirit of Oktoberfest by supporting your local brewery? Due South is putting on this free three-day event again this year from September 29 to October 1 – and the party runs continuously throughout! You’ll get to taste a large variety of beers including several special releases like Isle of MaGourdo Pumpkin Ale and the Oktoberfest Lager. Different food trucks will be on site on each day with varying menus and German offerings. Visitors must be 21 and up after 6 p.m. Visit duesouthbrewing.com.
4. German American Society of Greater Hollywood, Hollywood.
You can attend this authentic Oktoberfest event on three different dates: September 24, October 8, and October 22. For just $7, taste German dishes and Hofbrau beer from the real Oktoberfest in Munich, and then watch live dancing and music. Kids 12 and under attend for free. Doors open at 5 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. on all dates. Visit germanamericanclubhollywood.org.
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3. Barktoberfest, Deerfield Beach.
Join your fellow dog lovers at Quiet Waters Park (401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach) on October 8 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and your canine can enjoy some splash time in the water at the Splash Adventure Park or take a nice stroll on the paths hosting rescue and adoption nonprofit groups. There will be bounce houses for the kids, face painting, and a costume contest. Admission is free, and there is a $5 fee for dogs to enter the water. The activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit broward.org.
2. American German Club of the Palm Beaches, Lake Worth.
The American German Club of the Palm Beaches (5111 Lantana Rd, Lake Worth; 561-967-6464)
is celebrating its 43rd year of Oktoberfest for two weekends this year, October 7 to 9 and October 14 to 16. As the longest-running and biggest Oktoberfest event in South Florida, there will be more than enough food, drink, and merriment for every man, woman, and child in Palm Beach County to participate. Enjoy traditional German fare like potato pancakes, schnapps, and authentic German beer. The latter is sourced straight from Munich. Listen to live music from the Bavarian motherland with performances by the Bavarian Tops and The heldensteiner groups. Unlimited carvinal rides cost $20, flat admission costs $10, and kids 12 and under cost $8. Gates open Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m both weekends. Visit americangermanclub.org/oktoberfest.
1. Society 8 Oktoberfest at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale.
Society 8, a full-service restaurant and nightlife company, has been organizing events for hotels and restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for years. They're now ready to don their lederhosen and break out an Oktoberfest party to remember. This inaugural event at Taylor Birch State Park on September 24 and 25 will include live entertainment, a full German-American menu, games, and, of course, plenty of beer to drink from local breweries. Dishes include Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, apple strudel, and spit-fired chicken. The food and drink admission ticket costs $39 and gives you access to the park for the day, a beer cup with three refills, one brat, and a pretzel. The VIP admission costs $69 and comes with a souvenir stein and access to the VIP tasting tent as well. At the festival, polka dancers will perform to live polka music, and you can play interactive games like barrel rolling and beer races. The festivities begin at noon on Saturday and lasts to 7 p.m.; on Sunday, the event starts at noon and goes until 6 p.m. Visit society8.com/oktoberfest.