Oktoberfest is the world's most famous beer festival. It is held for a few weeks each year from late September to early October in the German city of Munich.
Attracting millions of people from around the world to Munich, Oktoberfest's historic folk celebration of Bavarian culture and the beers of the region has become a must-see event for tourists.
Live music, traditional costumes, parades, German cuisine and, of course, the vast selection of beers complete the celebrations for what is now one of the world's biggest parties.
The appeal of the festival means that Oktoberfest is now on tour all around the globe for revellers of all ages to enjoy. If you are thinking of putting on an Oktoberfest party or event, consider the following.
Music & Dancing
Expect merriment with traditional fare, yodelling, alpenhorn blowing, and much more! Oktoberfest is known for its traditional folk music. Marches and polkas make up the oompah music of Germany. As the evening wears on, the music becomes louder and more people begin to sing, linking arms and swinging beer mugs from side to side, some standing and swaying and dancing on benches or tables.
Activities, Games & Contests
- Keg Bowling. Set up bowling pins and slide an empty keg about 18-20 yards away to knock them down.
- Beer Stein Race. Contestants hold as many filled beer steins and race from one to the other to see who can fill the bucket the most in a period of time.
- Bratwurst Eating Competition. How many sausages can you eat in 3 minutes?
- Beer Barrel Roll Race. Use actual beer barrels or kegs and see who can roll it the fastest across a lawn, uphill, or across some obstacle course, etc.
- Pretzel Making. Award prizes for the funniest, the biggest, smallest, most mishapen.
- Giant Chess. Chess is a popular sport in Germany and chess championship tournament are held every year. If you are having the party outdoors, like most Oktoberfest parties, set up a large giant chess set for guests to play with and organize your own tournament for that day.
- Beer Checkers. Set up a checker tournament with a beer chess set. Whoever gets to conquer the opponent get to drink the beer in the mini beer mugs. See who is the last one standing!
- Costume Contest. Dressing up is part of the fun and revelry for Oktoberfest goers.
- Beer Tasting. Get several Oktoberfest beers, local beers and even beer from kegs to see which one has the best taste.
- Home Brew Beer. Have beer tasting contest to see who can brew the best beer.
- Yodelling Contest. Hold a yodelling contest to see who can yodel the best.
- Oktoberfest Crafts – Bead Making. Coloured beads in Bulvarian or German flag colours to make necklaces and bracelets.
Cold Oktoberfest Beers
- Mendocino Oktoberfest Beer (CA)
- Flying Fish Beer (NJ)
- Victory Festbier Beer (PA)
- Harpoon Octoberfest Beer (MA)
- Stoudts Oktoberfest Beer (PA)
- Beck’s Ocfest Beer (Germany)
- Paulaner Oktoberfest Beer (Germany)
- Pete’s Wicked Oktoberfest Beer (TX)
- Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Beer (MA)
- Ayinger OktoberFest Märzen Beer (Germany)
- Pretzel. A large delicious soft, buttery pretzel served with sea salt.
- Bratwurst. A famous sausage to accompany a mug of beer.
- Potato Dumpling. Germany’s version of a dumpling made with potatoes.
- Potato Pancakes. Shredded potatoes are fried in batter.
- Potato Salad. A good accompaniment to the Bratwurst.
- Pork Roast. Pork is the most favourite meat in Germany. A pork roast is moist, sweet and delicious.
- Bierock. A traditional German bread bun with meat and cabbage filling.
- Oktoberfest colours. White and light blue are the colours of the Bavarian flag. Table cloths, plates, banners and centrepieces can be in white and blue. Another option is to use colours of the German flag, and decorate the party in red, black and gold.
- Oktoberfest Tents. During Oktoberfest, large tents are set up. If you don’t have enough space, set-up a pop-up tent or pop-up canopy in your back yard.
- Stalls. For larger events, invite locals to sell food, drinks, crafts or costumes.
- Beer Tasting Table. Set a line-up of the beers for tasting. Each beer can have a place card out with the name of the beer and its origin.
- Famous Germans: Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Beethoven.
- Most popular meat: Pork.
- National alcoholic drink: Beer.
- Most popular sport: Soccer (Football in Europe).