Oktoberfest is a German celebration of Bavarian traditions with huge amounts of beer, food, German music, singing, and traditional Bavarian costumes.
With increased worldwide popularity, New Jersey Oktoberfest’s have become a popular fall event and with Oktoberfest celebrations found throughout the state just a short driving distance of their home.
The original "Oktoberfest" occurred in Munich, Germany in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. Today it continues in Munich to become the world's largest beer festival. Oktoberfest is an event that takes place during the 16 days before the first Sunday in October. However, this event can stretch to 17 days when the 1st Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1st.
Oktoberfest isn't just for Germans anymore. Oktoberfest has now become a very popular worldwide festival. Today the largest Oktoberfest’s are held in Munich and Cincinnati.
Most of the New Jersey Oktoberfest celebrations are shortened, scaled down versions, and usually occur over a day or two during the traditional Oktoberfest, during the 16 days before the first Sunday in October, although some bar/tavern venues have made it a weekend event stretching to the end of October.
Authentic Oktoberfest’s are celebrated with performers wearing the traditional German costumes with the men dressed in Sennerhut, Lederhosen, and the girls in Dirndl. German attendees are often found wearing Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte). In the past, the more tufts of goat hair on your hat, the wealthier you are. Though nowadays this is no longer the case as the tufts are synthetic and everybody can look as wealthy as they like.
Oktoberfest attendees can often be seen with a stein of German beer is in one hand and the other holding a wurst or sausage. Additional foods are served in large portions from oxen and whole split roasted chickens to a variety of sausages steamed and served with sauerkraut and onions.
Of course, the big draw is the German Beer. Oktoberfest is more than a celebration; it is also a style of bier. Authentic Oktoberfest bier is brewed very much like the reddish amber Marzen beer that was served at the Crown Prince Ludwig's wedding in 1810. Today, however Oktoberfest biers in Germany tend to be lighter in color and body than the traditional Marzen style. However, American craft breweries have a slightly different style of brewing Oktoberfest biers that are often slightly higher in alcohol, richer in hops aroma and flavor, and redder in hue than the European fest biers.
In The USA, the onset of fall, and especially the winter, will find the better quality, more flavorful beers will begin to replace the lighter, less flavorful beers typically found in the summer.
Note: Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.
Stay tuned --- we will be updating this list as the event sponsors confirm this year's events.