Octoberfest in the South – 5 Festivals of Fun

//Octoberfest in the South – 5 Festivals of Fun

Octoberfest in the South – 5 Festivals of Fun

There’s nothing like a good Octoberfest to get you in the fall mood and thanks to CJ Lotz over at Garden & Gun for showing where the fun can be found.

German-Americans make up the United States’ largest ethnic group, and you can find plenty of signs that German heritage thrives in the South (see: historic Texas architecture and most of the beer industry). Each autumn, Oktoberfest celebrates all things Deutschland with dancing, bratwurst, and plenty of beer. Here are five of fall’s top places in the South to lift a stein and say “Prost!”

Courtesy Nashville Oktoberfest

Fredericksburg, Texas 
September 30–October 2

The majority of German Southerners can be found in the Lone Star State, and they know how to throw one Texas-sized party. Just an hour and a half west of Austin, stop in for steins of local beer (try the Franconia Oktoberfest or a classic Shiner Bock) as well as two-dozen imports straight from the motherland. Bonus: Fredericksburg is just 15 minutes away from Waylon Jennings’ heralded town, Luckenbach, where you can boot-scoot the evening away at a classic dance hall.

Courtesy Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg

Helen, Georgia
Daily through October 30

Tiny Helen (population: 510) swells by the thousands come fall. All the exposed timber buildings and cobblestone sidewalks make it look like a tiny Bavarian Alpine village dropped out of the sky and landed in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just 90 miles northeast of Atlanta, the town’s annual Oktoberfest celebration with daily musical performances and dances makes an easy weekend trip for those in need of a little polka party.

Photographs by Whitney Ott

Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 2023

The Linde Oktoberfest along the Arkansas River has a major claim to fame: The 1981 festival introduced the “Chicken Dance” to Americans. Keep the quirk factor going strong—cheer on the Dachshund Dash where wiener dogs in hot dog bun costumes zig-zag across a field. Or, focus on the real prize: authentic bratwurst and sausages (from a fifth-generation Austrian sausage maker) crowned in kraut, plus more than 300 taps of Bavarian brews.

Courtesy Shane Bevel / Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa

Nashville, Tennessee
October 79

Last year, more than 140,000 people descended on Music City’s historic Germantown neighborhood to devour 8,000 pounds of potato salad, tens of thousands of bratwursts, and 700 kegs of beer, according to Nashville Oktoberfest’s record-keeping. And by its tally, only one pair of lederhosen was lost in the madness of the largest fall festival in the South. With this year’s attempt at the “World’s Longest Beer Slide,” revelers might just break some new records.

Courtesy Nashville Oktoberfest

New Orleans, Louisiana
October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22

In the eighteenth century, so many Germans settled along the Mississippi River above New Orleans that the area became known as the “German Coast.” Traces of that legacy are felt today at the Crescent City’s Deutsches Haus, which hosts traditional dancing in its beer garden and serves authentic schnitzel, sauerkraut, and of course, plenty of brews. It’s all done in the spirit of good cheer, or as the Germans say, “Gemütlichkeit.”

2016-10-17T17:30:58+00:00October 3rd, 2016|Southern Events|Comments Off on Octoberfest in the South – 5 Festivals of Fun