Germany has long been known for its impeccable beers, soft pretzels, and the iconic lederhosen. Every year in September, Germany celebrates Oktoberfest, the largest “People’s Fair” in the world. Countries around the world replicate this festival with German-style beer gardens, dancing, and food. Here in America, we’ve narrowed down the best Oktoberfests on the East Coast. Grab your stein, because there sure is a lot of German beer to drink on this journey.
Head To One Of The Best East Coast Oktoberfests This Fall!
11. Busch Gardens Bier Fest – Williamsburg, Virginia
Not only does this Oktoberfest celebrate German food, beer, and heritage, but it also provides the perfect place to take a heart-racing ride on a roller coaster. At Busch Gardens, you’ll find traditional soft pretzels, German beers, and live music. This is one of the best places to raise a glass to the end of summer and welcome in fall. Oktoberfest is celebrated over three weekends; September 2nd-5th, 10th-11th, and 17th-18th. Park admission is required to attend the event.
10. Hunter Mountain’s Oktoberfest – Hunter, New York
This festival takes place over 4 weekends in the fall months. Featuring authentic German food, a beautiful view of the foliage in the northern Catskills, and 3 different automobile rallies, this celebration is not one to be missed. The festival runs from 11:00am to 6:15pm on September 24-25, October 1-2, October 8-9, and October 15-16. Admission is free.
9. Oktoberfest – Irondequoit, New York
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, The Oktoberfest in Irondequoit is held at Camp Eastman. A one-acre tent is used to host the event, which takes place over the course of two full weekends. Activities include traditional Irish entertainment, food, and drink, as well as a stein hoisting contest and plenty of live music. There are even special activities for kids, so don’t forget to bring them to this one! Check out the event on September 9th-10th and September 16th-17th. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children.
8. Oktoberfest – Stowe, Vermont
The town of Stowe, Vermont is known for its breathtaking mountains and world-class winter resorts. Every year in October, though, the town transforms into a Bavarian village (under a huge tent, of course). Along with traditional German food and Oompah bands, this celebration also has the allure of being able to try some deliciously crafted local Vermont beers. For the craft beer lover, this is the place to go. Join the fun on October 1st from 11am-8pm and October 2nd from 11am-3pm.Admission is $10 for adults & seniors, $5 for children (ages 9-20), and free for kids ages 9 and under.
7.Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest – Reading, Pennsylvania
The oldest and largest Oktoberfest in Pennsylvania, the Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest was founded in 1885. Today, it includes clown performances, a parade, and plenty of outdoor seating to drink German beer. This year, the authentic celebration lasts nearly a week, beginning on September 28th and concluding on October 2nd. You can catch all the action during the following hours: September 28th, 5pm-10pm; September 29th, 5pm -10pm; September 30th, 5pm-10:30pm; October 1st, 11am-10pm; and October 2nd, 11am-8pm. Admission is free.
6. White Mountain Oktoberfest Presented by Sam Adams – Lincoln, New Hampshire
At Loon Mountain, a ski resort in the White Mountain National Forest, Oktoberfest takes over for a weekend in early October. The German celebration coincides with the fall foliage, and at Loon Mountain you’ll be surrounded by it. Activities include, but are definitely not limited to, a keg toss, a stein hoisting contest, and pumpkin painting for kids. Check out this celebration on October 8th and 9th. Admission is free.
5. International Oktoberfest – Newport, Rhode Island
Located in the heart of downtown Providence at the new Alex and Ani City Center, Newport’s Oktoberfest is the perfect way to send off summer and kick off the fall. Aside from traditional German grub and beer, there will also be local food vendors and well over 20 different types of beers and ciders on draft in the international beer garden. Kids can join, but this event is geared toward adults. Saturdays events on September 24th will be held in two sessions; session one is from 12pm-4pm and session two runs from 5pm-9pm. Sunday, September 25th will be one all-day session from 12pm-5pm. Admission for adults on Saturday is $20 in advance and $25 at the door and $12 for children under 12. Sunday will cost you just $17 in advance and $20 at the door. If you have trouble deciding on one day to attend, adults can purchase a Weekender Pass for $30 (advance) or $40 (at the door).
4. Acadia’s Oktoberfest – Southwest Harbor, Maine
An all-you-can-sample celebration, this festival goes all-out. The event is held at Smuggler’s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor which provides enough space for all the vendors, games, and activities. The games and events include a keg toss, flip cup, cornhole, and beer-less pong. The beer tent with unlimited sampling is open from noon to 5pm and will feature some of Maine’s greatest local craft beers. The 21st event will be held on Saturday, October 8th. Admission is $35 which includes a 4-ounce souvenir glass with unlimited brew tent samples, $10 for designated drivers/non-drinkers, and free for children under 12.
3. Harpoon Octoberfest – Boston, Massachusetts
Historic South Boston is taken over every year by Harpoon Octoberfest. This year, at the 27th annual celebration, expect to hear the traditional oompah music, taste delicious Harpoon beer from the onsite brewery, and enjoy tasty food from local food trucks. If you’re a sober driver, enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic drinks while your friends do the beer drinking. The event takes place on Friday, September 30th from 5:30pm-11pm and Saturday, October 1st from 1pm-7pm. Admission is $25, which gets you entrance to the event and a souvenir pint glass with one drink ticket.
2. Das Best Oktoberfest – National Harbor, Maryland
Although not very kid-friendly, this celebration has plenty of entertainment for adults. This all-you-can-taste festival gives you access to over 150 international, domestic, and local Maryland beers, wines, and schnapps. Even better, attendees are encouraged to wear German attire to get free swag, and, if you dress up with a group, you could win $300 in the Group Costume Competition. The event takes place on September 24th at the Plateau in National Harbor. Admission is $29 (advance) for the regular admission which includes all-you-can-sample beer, wine, and schnapps and a souvenir tasting glass, $49 (advance only) for the VIP option which gives you two extra hours of all-you-can-sample and the tasting glass, and $25 for the designated driver’s admission.
1. Oktoberfest Live! – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Voted one of the top ten Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. by Draft Magazine, Oktoberfest Live! is only coming up on its 4th annual festival. This year’s event has been expanded to make room for 15,000 people to attend, making it one of the largest Oktoberfests on the East Coast. Imagine yourself enjoying one of over 250 craft beers from 125+ breweries in the beer gardens, listening to live music, competing in contests for prizes and giveaways, walking down food truck alley for some hearty local food, and playing games like ladder golf and life-sized Connect Four. Don’t miss the action on October 8th from 2pm-7pm at XFINITY Live! in Philly. Admission prices vary from $20-$60 depending on when you buy your ticket and what you want to get out of your ticket. Check out this celebration to see why its making a name for itself as being one of the best Oktoberfests in the country.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.