Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Celebrate Oktoberfest, Where Will You Be?

The Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October.

It is attended by six million people each year and has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants.

The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is mostly regarded as being in Canada, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (750,000 to 1,100,000 visitors),followed by Blumenau, Brazil with (700,000+ visitors),Cincinnati, Ohio, United States (500,000+ visitors)and the Denver Oktoberfest Denver, Colorado, United States (450,000+ visitors).

In New York City, there is even an Oktoberfest held under a big tent along the city's East River.However, the largest one mostly depends on specific year's numbers and varies with sources.Currently Oktoberfest is spreading to new geographical locations; starting in September 2007, Montreal began hosting its own Oktoberfest. One can find Oktoberfest celebrations mixing German traditions, food and beer with local culture outside of Germany.


The National Beer Festival (Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza) is Argentina's version of the German Oktoberfest. It has taken place every October since 1963 in Villa General Belgrano, Cordoba. The party emerged by the hand of the first German immigrants. This festival attracts thousands of tourists for two consecutive weekends.


In Australia, the universities are notorious in their celebrations of Oktoberfest every year, and as students graduated and moved on, this rolled over into pubs and restaurants in the university areas. After the 2012 Oktoberfest Party the university council banned the celebration of the festival on university campus grounds.

Following the end of many of the university based events a private event company, Nokturnl Events, launched 'Oktoberfest in the Gardens' in the Supreme Court Gardens, Perth on 7 October 2011. The event was so popular that it quickly spread across the country and in 2016 will be hosted in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Oktoberfest in the Gardens has now officially claimed the title of Australia's largest Oktoberfest.

The Harmonie German Club, Canberra, holds an Oktoberfest over a three-day period every year in October. The festival has been held for over 45 years, and attracts a large number of visitors from Canberra and surrounding regions.In 2017 the event is set to be moved over the border to Queanbeyan in New South Wales.


In Brazil there are several Oktoberfests around the country, most of them in towns settled by Germans and Austrians in the Southern portion of the country like the Oktoberfest of Blumenau, the Oktoberfest of Itapiranga, the Oktoberfest of Igrejinha, the Oktoberfest of Santa Cruz do Sul, the Oktoberfest of Rolândia, the Oktoberfest of São Jorge d'Oeste, the Oktoberfest of Ponta Grossa, the Oktoberfest of Marechal Cândido Rondon, among others).

There are also Oktoberfests in other portions of the country like the Oktoberfest in der Altstadt von Olinda, the Oktoberfest Cearense in Guaramiranga, the Oktoberfest do Club Transatlântico and the Oktoberfest do Brooklin in Sao Paulo, among others. The Oktoberfest of Blumenau is one of the largest German festivals around the world, attracting around one million people every year.


In Canada there is an annual nine-day celebration spread over 18 days in Kitchener, Ontario. It attracts over 1,000,000 visitors annually. While its most popular draws are the beer-based celebrations, other cultural and entertainment attractions also fill the week. The most well-known is the parade held on Thanksgiving Day.

As the only major parade on Canadian Thanksgiving, it is televised nationally. Coincidentally, the closing day of the Bavarian Oktoberfest also falls on the German equivalent of Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest.

The twin cities and surrounding area have a long history of German roots. Kitchener was formerly named Berlin. A significant portion of the population of Kitchener and surrounding areas identify themselves as being of German heritage, and many still speak German.

A common phrase at the celebrations is Gemutlichkeit, German for congeniality, or warm friendliness.

Oktoberfest celebrations are also held annually in Sherbrooke, Quebec at the beginning of October. The one night event is held by Universite de Sherbrooke's Engineering Students' Association. It draws approximately 6,000 revellers each year.

Two smaller events take place in the Greater Toronto Area:

- Toronto Oktoberfest at Ontario Place

- Unionville Oktoberfest Heritage Days in Unionville, Ontario


In Chile bierfests are celebrated in Valdivia, Puerto Octay, Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Llanquihue and Malloco.


- Qingdao has the largest Oktoberfest celebration in all of China with celebrations since 1991. Around 4 million have participated.

- Beijing, held at the Paulaner Brauhaus in the Kempinski Hotel since 1993.

- Shanghai, at the Paulaner Brauhaus and held since 1997.

- Hong Kong, Marco Polo German Bierfest has been held since 1992. The celebration takes place in mid October to early November at Marco Polo Hong

Kong Hotel in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui.Other events also take place in other spots in Hong Kong:

- Oktoberfest at Happy Valley Racecourse

- Erdinger Oktoberfest at Indian Recreation Club

- Macau MGM Macau hosted their first Oktoberfest in 2011


In Colombia it is sponsored by Bavaria Brewery. A series of concerts and events are held along different cities, with special emphasis in those with German background like Bucaramanga.


Oktoberfest celebrations have become very popular with Indian hotels, restaurants and malls. Numerous such events happen in Indian metros in October. The most significant one is held since 2009 by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Pune, traditionally a large hub of German companies in India.


An Oktoberfest celebration is held in the town of Taybeh, State of Palestine home to the only Palestinian brewery,Taybeh Brewery. The first Taybeh Oktoberfest was held in 2005.


Oktoberfest beer and music festival celebrations held usually from September up to December. It is organized by San Miguel Brewery, which is the makers of San Miguel Beer and other alcoholic beverages. The 2015 edition of their Oktoberfest, was coincided with the 125th anniversary of San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen.


Moscow Oktoberfest is held Red Square.

South Africa

Oktoberfest is celebrated annually in mid September at various German schools around the country most notably the Deutsche Schule Pretoria.

Sri Lanka

Oktoberfest celebration is held in Colombo, Sri Lanka every year.

United States

German-Americans are the largest self-reported ancestral group in the United States. There are hundreds of large and small Oktoberfest celebrations held annually throughout the country, the largest being Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Known for its large German immigrant population, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its historic Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania Deutsch) population are well known to have many Oktoberfest celebrations during the months of September and October.

These celebrations became increasingly popular among the general Commonwealth population in the later half of the 20th century with the rise of microbreweries, and with the opening of authentic German brew houses such as Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh, PA.

Other major celebrations across the United States include those at:

- Old World Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach, CA

- Cullman, Alabama;

- Nashville, Tennessee's oldest-running festival is the Nashville Oktoberfest,held annually in the downtown Germantown neighborhood. In 2015, more than 140,000 people attended.In 2016, official attendance estimates topped 215,000 people, making the Nashville Oktoberfest the second largest Oktoberfest in the USA.

- Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona

- Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, Arizona

- The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California

- Big Bear City, California

- Campbell, California

- Oakland, California

- Sacramento, California

- San Francisco, California

- Alpine Village in Torrance, California

- San Diego, California

- Montrose, California

- Denver, Colorado

- The Colorado Council of Arts, Science and Culture hosts Parker Oktoberfest in Parker, Colorado

- Delaware Sängerbund in Newark, Delaware

- Wickham Park (Melbourne, Florida)

- Cape Coral, Florida (largest in Florida)

- Miami, Florida

- Helen, Georgia, a Bavarian-themed town

- Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois, a German celebration, starting in 2013, expecting many beer lovers

- Indianapolis, Indiana

- Jasper, Indiana

- Seymour, Indiana

- Amana, Iowa

- Hays, Kansas

- Danville, Kentucky

- Mandeville, Louisiana

- Frankenmuth, Michigan - The first Oktoberfest outside Munich that the Parliament and the City of Munich sanctioned);

- Grand Rapids, Michigan

- New Ulm, Minnesota In 2002 the United States Census Bureau released a report showing 65.85% of population with German ancestry, the greatest proportion among cities in the United States of America.

- Hermann, Missouri

- St. Louis, Missouri

- Norfolk, Nebraska

- Sidney, Nebraska

- Germania Park in Rockaway Township, New Jersey

- Irondequoit, New York

- Hickory, North Carolina

- Cincinnati, Ohio

- The Ohio State Fair grounds and the Germania Singing and Sport Society in Columbus, Ohio

- Berea, Ohio

- Minster, Ohio

- Wilmington, Ohio

- Tulsa, Oklahoma

- Mt. Angel, Oregon; Mt. Angel has held an Oktoberfest since 1966, the largest folk festival in the Northwest.

- Sertoma Field in Walhalla, South Carolina

- East Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania

- Newport, Rhode Island

- Kingsport, Tennessee

- Addison, Texas

- Boerne, Texas

- Fredericksburg, Texas

- Galveston, Texas

- Muenster, Texas - their version is called "Germanfest" and is held in April

- New Braunfels, Texas - called Wurstfest

- Slaton, Texas "Slaton Saint Joseph Sausage Festival," held on the third Sunday of October

- Shiner, Texas

- At least 11 other Texas towns

- Snowbird, Utah, a resort in the mountains above Salt Lake City

- Neighborhood of Lago Mar, Virginia Beach, Virginia;

- Neighborhood of Fremont, Seattle, Washington

- Leavenworth, Washington, a Bavarian-themed town

- Appleton, Wisconsin

- La Crosse, Wisconsin, called Oktoberfest – La Crosse, Wisconsin

- New Glarus, Wisconsin

- Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Oktoberfest celebrations are co-organized annually by the German Business Association in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.In 2012, Oktoberfest Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City celebrated its 20th year with a seven-day event.


In Venezuela, specifically in Colonia Tovar, it is held annually since 1970 . Sometimes music groups have been invited from Germany to interpret typical music. The Historic center of Colonia Tovar has a population of about 10,000 inhabitants and it is estimated that during the days of the event the town receives twice of visitors.

In Greater Caracas, it's celebrated in the suburb of El Hatillo, it's sponsored by the embassy of Germany and Poland, and the German-speaking Catholic Community.


Oktoberfest is celebrated annually in Zambia around 10 October at Fringilla, Chisamba, Central Province and many other various locations in Lusaka.



Note that traditional fairs in Bavaria, called Dult, Volksfest or popular festival etc., are similar to the Oktoberfest in nature not in size, but not called Oktoberfest as they did not arise in imitation of it. Of these, the Gaubodenvolksfest of Straubing enjoys particular fame.


The Oktoberfest Hannover is a fair which takes place every year at the end of September/beginning of October in Oktoberfest, Germany. It usually lasts 17 days and features 140 rides and inns, two large beer tents seating more than a thousand people each, and numerous stands, beer gardens and five small beer tents offering food and refreshments.

The program consists of a Dirndl-Competition, three Fireworks, two Family-Days, a hand lantern parade for kids and a backstage tour. You can get a special festival-beer from the local brewery "Brauerei Herrenhausen", the "Lüttje Lage" an alcoholic speciality of Hannover and many food from Lower Saxony and Bavaria. With around one million visitors each year, it is the second-largest Oktoberfest in Germany.


Oktoberfest in Berlin continues to grow, and 2014 will mark the 64th celebration of oktoberfest in Berlin. Several large areas including Alexanderplatz and zentral festplatz will be turned into Bavarian like beer and food tents. Live brass Bavarian bands will play at venues around town and people can be seen in traditional Bavarien dress around the city.

Many places will also serve the official Oktoberfest beers that must be made in Munich. These events can last from mid September to early-mid October, and are the largest Oktoberfest events outside of Munich.

Tourism Observer

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