"Oktoberfest? In September?"
Auf wiedersehen summer and wilkommen fall! As sad as it is to leave the warm, rainy summer season behind us, there is much to look forward to in the fall of 2022. With the arrival of cooler weather and the beginning of the holiday season, there's no better way to celebrate than with the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest. Contrary to popular belief Oktoberfest actually begins in September and lasts for about 16 days, traditionally ending on the first Sunday in October. According to German history the first Oktoberfest was held back in 1810 and today is celebrated worldwide as the largest Volksfest (a hybrid of a beer festival and traveling funfair). Although the festival is known for the large amounts of beer and Bavarian cuisine, carnival rides, horse races, and other attractions accompany the celebration.
Fun fact: Oktoberfest 2014 set the record for most beer consumed at the festival totaling 7.7 million liters of Oktoberfest beer! Just because the festival is based in Munich, Germany does not mean us Atlanta residents need to hop on the next Lufthansa flight to Europe. Below are two local Oktoberfest celebrations you can attend next month.
Oktober Fest Atlanta
When: Sept. 30th-Oct. 2nd
Where: Old Fourth Ward Skate Park
Hosted by Arches Brewing this is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the city of Atlanta. Tickets can be bought for the entire weekend or by the day and there are options for GA and VIP admission. Beer, food, authentic German music and games will be available to partake in. Proceeds will also be benefitting ReLeash Atlanta dog shelter.
When: Sept. 10th-Oct. 30th.
Where: Downtown Helen, Georgia
If you can't make it to the one weekend celebration at the Old Fourth Ward Skate park, don't give up that easy! The quaint Alpine town of Helen celebrates Oktoberfest for over a month. Starting on Sept. 10th with an Oktoberfest parade the festival continues Thurday-Sunday all through September and everyday September 29 to October 30th. Admission is $8 during the week $10 on Saturdays and free on Sundays with food and drink available for purchase. The 2 hour drive from the city to Helen is not too long but due to the amount of drinking and wooded roads it is recommended to make a weekend getaway out of your Oktoberfest roadtrip. There are plenty of hotels, and airbnbs to stay at as well as beautiful wilderness to enjoy. More information is provided in the website below.
As much fun as Oktoberfest is and no matter how delicious the brats and beer, always remember to make safety your number one priority. Make sure to have Ubers or taxis lined up as well as hotels or a place a stay in the event you are traveling from out of town. With that said time to don the lederhosen, grab your favorite stein, and get ready to polka for a day or weekend!