Oktoberfest, the folk festival that began in Munich Germany in 1810, is a worldwide celebration of Bavarian culture. While Oktoberfest is widely known for its massive quantity of beer consumption, there are plenty more beverages and activities for the non-drinkers, families and designated drivers. North Carolina has many Oktoberfest celebrations across the state; so pull out your Lederhosen (the shorts with attached suspender like straps) and get ready for a great time!
Oktoberfest is known for more than just the beer tents; traditional German fare is a fun way to explore Bavarian and German cultures. There are a wide variety of traditional food such as Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezen (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spicy cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).
New Bern Oktoberfest – New Bern, NC – September 25, 2015
Hosted at the Farmers Market on Front Street, Oktoberfest is from 6-10 PM. Activities include dancing, German style music, and German dinner; not to mention plenty of beers. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Maggie Valley Oktoberfest – Maggie Valley, NC – October 2-3, 2015
Who’s ready for the Chicken dance? Are the kids ready for Kid’s Zone for children? Great ready for some tasty German food like Bratwurst and Bavarian Soft Pretzels along with regional delicacies like BBQ. Guests are entertained with live music and dancing, while arts and crafts vendors offer unique gifts and trinkets to take home from the festival. Considering that this is an Oktoberfest celebration, there will be plenty of craft beers to go around. The cost for adults is $2 with children 12 and under free.
Charlotte Oktoberfest – Charlotte, NC – October 3, 2015
The 17th annual North Carolina Oktoberfest in Charlotte will have beer from local, national and German breweries, live music, festive games in the Creative Loafing Beerlympic Village, and food vendors with brats and other traditional German fare. Three charities will benefit from the proceeds: Kids Rein, Classroom Central and Camp CARE. 2014 Musical entertainment included U-Phonik and StellaRising. U-Phonik is a Charlotte band originally from Montreal that plays an assortment of original songs and alternative rock covers. StellaRising is a female fronted band playing radio-friendly rock/pop songs. Location: NC Music Factory, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28206
Triangle Oktoberfest – Cary, NC – October 3-4, 2015
The inaugural Triangle OktoberFest, presented by the Rotary Clubs of Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor, is a fundraising event featuring a live German band, traditional Bavarian food and fare, and, of course, plenty of beer! Triangle Oktoberfest began as a joint effort between the Rotary Clubs of Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor. The event will start Oct. 3 at noon with the traditional Bürgermeister tapping of the first keg, called “O’Zapst is” and also yelled from the crowd. The organizers are sparing little expense to make the entire experience as Bavarian as possible. This year’s Triangle Oktoberfest will feature the following activities: Kinder Platz Kids Zone (featuring bounce house, obstacle course, sports and more), Weiner dog races, Variety of German foods, 26-member Little German Band and Dancers, Contest for best German-dressed participants, Pretzel toss, Display of German cars, Hammerschlagen (relay team for nailing a spike in and old oak stump), Football viewing tent with TVs, Biergarten, Sanctioned beer-judging competition, and Triangle’s largest Beer Stein Hoist competition (with the winners being entered to win a trip to compete in the National Final on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”). Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Alzheimers North Carolina (AlzNC) to assist its statewide efforts in supporting the 170,000-plus North Carolina families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Oktoberfest will begin after the 23rd Annual AlzNC Triangle Walk, held at Booth Amphitheater on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The walk is free and open to the public.
Schedule and ticket information for Oktoberfest: Saturday, Oct. 3: noon – 10 p.m., $20 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under, Sunday, Oct. 4: noon – 6 p.m., $15 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under, or a two-day Ticket: $30 for 16 and up
Hickory Oktoberfest – Hickory, NC – October 9-11, 2015
It’s time for Oktoberfest in Hickory! This annual three day outdoor festival, traditionally the second weekend in October, brings out over 100,000 people looking forward to a fun German tradition. Get your exercise in with a 5K run/walk OR 10K run. Consume a beverage in one of the two beer gardens. Multiple stages offer live music from polka to rock & roll. Juried arts and crafts show of handmade products offers prizes to the top three artisans. First prize is $300, second prize is $200 and third prize is $100. Amusement rides, carnival games and KidFest area for children. Hundreds of food and commercial vendors will be there offering delicious food from barbecue to Bavarian pastries, as well as unique products and art. Location: Union Square, Main Ave NW, Hickory, NC 28601
Asheville Oktoberfest – Asheville, NC – October 10, 2015
Asheville’s Oktoberfest mixes Bavaria traditions with a local flare. Local breweries, oompah band, Oktoberfest games and food. Only 3000 tickets will be sold. Ticket prices escalate as the event approaches (starting at $25 per person) and they expect them to sell out. Oktoberfest contests like the stein race and keg-rolling contest will be back, as well as new competitions to keep everyone on their toes. The Stratton Mountain Boys will be yodeling and playing Polka music on the stage. New location for 2013 was Coxe Avenue rather than Wall Street where it has been historically held. Location: Coxe Avenue, Asheville, NC
Sugar Mountain Resort Oktoberfest – Village of Sugar Mountain, NC – October 10-11, 2015
25th annual Oktoberfest with fall foliage and a weekend of festival activities. The Harbour Town Fest Band will be filling the area with live music and Bavarian atmosphere from the Oom Pah Band every afternoon. The Avery Smooth Dancers and the Mountain Laurel Cloggers will get you out of your seat and moving with them. Bavarian food will include bratwurst, knockwurst sauerkraut, pretzels, strudel and Spaten Oktoberfest beer. This is a family friendly event with arts & crafts and children’s fun center (including inflatable bounce houses and hay rides). Admission is free. Free parking with shuttle service. Pets are welcome if they are on a leash, but they will not be allowed inside or on the deck. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking views and fall colors with a ski chairlift ride. Round trip ride takes 45 minutes and costs $12 for a one-time ride or $25 for an all-day ticket. Location: Sugar Mountain Resort Main Lodge, 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Village of Sugar Mountain, North Carolina 28604
Oktoberfest House Party – Cashiers, NC – October 17, 2015
The High Hampton Inn will host its sixth annual Oktoberfest House Party with a special menu of German food and German beer. Live music and costumed dancers complete the afternoon of German fun. Location: High Hampton Inn, 1525 Highway 107 South, Cashiers, N.C. 28717
Wilmington Oktoberfest – Wilmington, NC – October 17, 2015
3This 12th Annual Oktoberfest will include authentic German food and beer, wiener dog races, live music and kids zone. Admission is $5.
Location: 230 Government Center Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403
Onslow Oktoberfest – Jacksonville, NC – October 22-24, 2015
The community fundraiser for Onslow Community Outreach includes live music and 5K run. Children’s area offers entertainment, amusement rides, games, micro racing, an animal park and home improvement workbench/clinics. The festival was started in 2008. Location: Riverwalk Crossing Park, 421 Court Street, Jacksonville, NC