Your guide to Oktoberfest

Grab your lederhosen and get ready for brats of fun

Several men in lederhosen hold up beer steins
Oktoberfest started in Munich, but celebrations are now held around the world
(Image credit: Johannes Simon / Getty Images)

It's time to raise your steins and say "Prost!" to another Oktoberfest. 

This folk festival has been held in Munich, Germany, since 1810, when locals gathered to drink, eat and watch horse races in honor of Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig marrying Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. What started as a royal wedding celebration grew into an annual event that isn't bound by borders; there are now Oktoberfests held around the world, where revelers are brought together by a love of food, fun and beer — lots and lots of beer.

Here are eight Oktoberfests where everyone is willkommen:

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Munich, Germany (of course!)

Men and women hold up beer steins at Oktoberfest

It's not just about the beer in Munich — Oktoberfest is also known for its amusement rides

(Image credit: Johannes Simon / Getty Images)

The one that started it all is still the largest Oktoberfest in the world. The 188th event kicks off on Sept. 16, with the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, tapping the first barrel of beer. The festivities take place across the Theresienwiese grounds, where 17 tents are set up, each with their own theme and band, serving different beer and food options. Don't miss the Trachten und Schützenzug parade on Sept. 17, with lavish floats from the six Oktoberfest breweries and thousands of fashionable people donning their finest traditional outfits, or the Oktoberfest landlords' concert on Sept. 24, where 300 musicians from all of the festival tent bands will play together. Sept. 16 through Oct. 3

Denver, Colorado

Denver may be a long way from Deutschland, but the city knows how to hold an Oktoberfest. Activities range from stein hoisting competitions to keg bowling, with authentic German food and ale available inside the Beer Hall. On Oct. 1, dozens of dachshunds will battle it out in the Long Dog Derby to see who has the fastest feet. Sept. 22-24 and Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

If you can't make it to Munich, consider trekking to Canada, home of the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. Now in its 55th year, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is perfect for those looking for a traditional experience of drinking beer while listening to live music. There are also some fun surprises, like the DOGtoberfest on Oct. 7 and 8 (now is the time to splurge on some lederhosen or a dirndl for your pup). New this year is the Oktoberfest Block Party on Oct. 5, which brings together local country acts The Road Hammers and The Western Swing Authority with German performers Dorfrocker and Golden Keys. Sept. 22-Oct. 14

Fredericksburg, Texas

Men and women in traditional German outfits dance in Fredericksburg

With 25 bands performing at the Fredericksburg Oktoberfest, the dancing never stops

(Image credit: Fredericksburg Oktoberfest)

This Oktoberfest is all about the music, which makes sense — Fredericksburg is the Polka Capital of Texas. There are five stages, with 25 bands, some from Germany, set to perform. Those who would rather be the entertainment can enter the waltz and family lederhosen and dirndl contests, or join in on the group Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance. The food lineup includes bratwurst, fondue, potato pancakes, and schnitzel, with dozens of German and Texas craft beers on tap. Oct. 6-8

Helen, Georgia

A Bavarian building in Helen, Georgia

This may be Georgia, but it feels like Germany

(Image credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The spirit of Bavaria is alive and well in the alpine village of Helen. The town is known for its architecture, inspired by traditional German buildings, as well as having what officials said is the longest-running Oktoberfest in the United States. All of the fun happens inside the Festhalle, with music and dancing and food galore, but there are also several restaurants to try in Helen that serve authentic German food, like the Hofer's of Helen bakery or Bodensee, known for its spaetzle and wursts. Sept. 7-Oct. 29

Leavenworth, Washington

This charming town in the Cascade Mountains is known for its Bavarian architecture, and once the oompah bands start playing and the beer begins to flow, you might think you're actually in Germany. Adults can enjoy hanging out in one of the three beer gardens and listening to polka bands straight from Europe, while the children can frolick in the massive Kinderplatz, complete with a Ferris wheel, bouncy obstacle course and root beer garden. Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Now in its 62nd year, this is the longest-running Oktoberfest in the Midwest, and also the most community oriented. Every year, local residents are nominated for the Oktoberfest Royal Family, with two serving as grand marshals for The Torchlight Parade, happening this year on Sept. 28, and the Maple Leaf Parade on Sept. 30. The Torchlight Parade illuminates the night, with the floats wrapped in lights and marchers and spectators alike wearing glow sticks. Sept. 28-30

Blumenau, Brazil

People walk around the 2018 Oktoberfest celebration in Blumenau, Brazil

Blumenau, Brazil, was settled by German immigrants in the 1800s

(Image credit: Ricardo Ribas / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

German immigrants settled here in the 1800s, and their influence is still seen in the buildings and celebrations. This is one of the largest Oktoberfests outside of Germany, with activities including beer-drinking contests, parades, concerts and the crowning of a queen and her royal court. They aren't the only celebrities in attendance; the festival also has two cartoon mascots named Vovó and Vovô Chopão that like to make the rounds. Oct. 4-22

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.