Oktoberfest 2012: What is Oktoberfest? Where to Celebrate
Oktoberfest 2012 begins on September 22.
So, what is Oktoberfest? Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held in Munic, Germany leading up to the first Sunday in October, so, yeah, it actually starts in September. At noon on September 22, there will be a twelve-gun salute and the first keg will be tapped, heralded by the cry of "O'zapft is!"( "It's tapped!").
Incidentally, Oktoberfest is the reason that we all picture Germans running around in leiderhosen: the traditional Bavarian garb, not worn daily, obviously, came to characterize an entire country.
Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest in the U.S.
Las Vegas, NV — Siegfried and Roy tapped the first keg in 2011 at theHofbräuhaus Las Vegas, a replica of the Munich original. Oktoberfest celebrations begin this year on 9/15 and continue daily until the end of October.
Leavenworth, WA — This charming Washington town, modeled after a Bavarian village, holds the well-attended Leavenworth Oktoberfest on 10/5-10/6, 10/12-10/13, 10/19-10/20.
Los Angeles, CA — For Los Angeles' Oktoberfest, see Torrance, CA below.
Newark, DE — Dancers perform the Schuhplattler, or "shoe slapping" dance, along with other German folk dances, such as the Ländler at the Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest from 9/21-9/23.
New Ulm, MN — Founded by German immigrants, this Minnesota town makes merry at the New Ulm Oktoberfest from 10/5-10/6 & 10/12-10/13.
New York, NY — Celebrate Oktoberfest at Empire State Plaza on 9/13.
San Diego, CA — Ocean Beach Oktoberfestfrom 10/5-10/6.
San Francisco, CA — San Francisco contains a blend of spirited attractionsand cultures, a quality that shines at the Oktoberfest by the Bay from 9/28-9/30.
Seattle, WA — Fremont, a lively neighborhood in Seattle, holds an even livelier beer-fueled celebration at the Fremont Oktoberfest from 9/21-9/23.
Soulard, MO — Soulard, a City of St. Louis Historic District, is host to one of the fastest growing Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. and the 9th annualSoulard Oktoberfest will be held the weekend of 9/12-9/14.
Torrance, CA — People from all over Los Angeles flock to Torrance's Alpine Village for its Oktoberfest, which runs from 9/7-10/28 every Friday, Saturday, & Sunday.
Tulsa, OK — Credited as the birthplace of Route 66 and once called the "Oil Capital of the World," this city in Oklahoma is also known for the Tulsa Oktoberfest, which runs from 10/18-10/21.