The first Oktoberfest took place on Oct. 17, 1810, in Munich, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. They turned the wedding into a public event, inviting the people of Munich to come to the fields in front of the city gates and celebrate the union. The celebration lasted for days with free food and beer running through the city. It was such a big hit, the people of Munich decided to make it a yearly celebration.
Since its inception, Oktoberfest has grown to be the largest annual festival in the world. In 2017, the annual Munich festival saw 6.2 million visitors. It has grown to a 16 day celebration each year. Today more than 7.5 million liters of beer are consumed at Oktoberfest annually. That’s a lot of beer. It has grown so popular other cities around the globe now hold their own versions of Oktoberfest. No matter where you celebrate Oktoberfest, there are a few common staples: lively music, mouthwatering food, and big pints of beer.
Although the festival is called Oktoberfest, the real beginning of the festivities takes place from mid-September onwards. Sounds like a good time, right? Let’s talk about where you can find a little Oktoberfest action in the Southeast.
39th Annual Nashville Oktoberfest: You can celebrate Oktoberfest right in the heart of Music City! Spanning 10 city blocks of Germantown, this festival has something for everyone. Delicious German foods from dozens of restaurants and vendors, world-class beer from local breweries, tons of events, arts and crafts vendors, stages of live German music, the Dachshund Derby, an enormous parade through downtown, and the 2nd largest 5K Race & Run in Tennessee.
Oktoberfest Atlanta: Put on your lederhosen and enjoy a full weekend of German themed fun at Oktoberfest Atlanta. You can experience a variety of deliciously cold German beers, craft beer from Bell’s Brewing, German food, live music, and an abundance of games and Oktoberfest themed activities!
Asheville Oktoberfest: Celebrate the local beer scene when “Little Germany” mixes Bavarian traditions with Asheville’s eclectic vibe. Enjoy a big variety of beer and hard cider tastings from 20 breweries, with many featuring seasonal ales for Oktoberfest. Pair the brews with German staples like bratwurst, pretzels and traditional sides.
Oktoberfest in Helen: It’s Helen’s biggest celebration! Enjoy German music, food, drinks and dancing, including waltzes, polkas and the chicken dance. The festivities go on every weekend in September and daily throughout the month of October – this town really knows how to celebrate!
Savannah Oktoberfest: Each year, this festival features “wiener dog” racing, a bratwurst tasting, dancing to traditional German music, food vendors featuring traditional cuisine, and a beer garden.
Let us know if you find a new favorite beer while you celebrate Oktoberfest this season. Use these tips to Keep Calm and Beer Festival On!