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Top 10 Oktoberfest Parties in the U.S.

For 16 days, six million people from all over the world flock to Munich to partake in the annual Oktoberfest celebration.

1. Bear Mountain, New York

Image via americandreamfinder.blogspot.com


For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, or if you’re already near the Hudson River, take a trip to Bear Mountain State Park for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. The fest runs every weekend Sept. 14 through Oct. 27 with free admission. With a different live band every weekend, and other activities including paddle boarding, there’s fun for the whole family.


2. St. Louis, Missouri

Image via SoulardOktoberfest.com


For one weekend a year, the younger party crowd in St. Louis enjoys a wild Oktoberfest celebration in the historic neighborhood of Soulard. With local craft beer as well as imported brew on tap, the party rages from Oct. 11-13.


3. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Image via Flickr


Frankenmuth’s Oktoberfest is as close to the real deal as you’ll get without needing a passport. The tiny town was founded in 1845 by a group of Bavarian settlers, and has held strong to its German roots ever since. The 2013 celebration is held later in the month, from Oct. 19-22, but the trek to Frankenmuth is worth the authentic German fair and giant beer hall.


4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Image via queencitysurvey.blogspot.com


The Oktoberfest Zinzinati party is the largest in the country, and draws a half a million people to a six-block area in downtown Cincinnati. Each year, the festival outdoes itself by trying to break its own world records in the chicken dance, and largest kazoo band. And of course, there’s plenty of beer on tap – more than 800 million barrels. The fun is packed into just three days, Sept. 20-22.


5. La Crosse, Wisconsin

Image via cityprofile.com


La Crosse has a strong German heritage, so it’s no surprise the city celebrates an annual Oktoberfestcelebration. The fest boasts several parades, a craft beer night, and for 2013, a special appearance of Bret Michaels. Yup, the Bret Michaels. The fun runs from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5.


6. San Francisco, California

Image via Wikipedia


San Francisco has a whopping 17 German clubs, and all go all out for the annual fest. The biggest appeal to the San Fran celebration is the live music, especially from traditional “oompah” bands. The Oktoberfest runs from Sept. 20-22.


7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Image via 247-las-vegas.com


It’s always a party in Vegas, so it’s no surprise the City of Sin boasts an Oktoberfest celebration. They even have celebs stop by, including annual headliners Siegfried and Roy (pictured above), both born in Germany. For weekends in September, head to the Hofbrauhaus and enjoy the giant beer hall and beer garden.


8. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Image via TulsaOktoberfest.org


Tulsa may not be the first (or even eighth) city that comes to mind when you think of Oktoberfest, but the Oklahoma fest does have one major claim to fame – the infamous chicken dance was introduced during the fest in 1981, becoming a much-hated staple for weddings and bar mitzvahs everywhere. The fun happens Oct. 17-20.


9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Image via Canon-Micmillon Patch


In a town 18 miles west of Pittsburgh, the annual Pennsylvania Bavarian Oktoberfest rages on. The city of Canonsburg has hosted the party for 15 years, and the 2013 celebrations include festival rides and games (including a Name that Brew contest), German music and of course, imported beer.


10. Washington, D.C.

Image via Frederick News


The nation’s capital is home to several Oktoberfests, but the Frederick’s Oktoberfest held in Frederick, Maryland sports a massive “festhall,” for music, and a large open area for drinking and the inevitable drinking games. Contests include yodeling and “biggest beer belly.” No worries – there are family-friendly areas for the kids too, complete with crafts.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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