The original Oktoberfest has been held in Munich every September and October since 1810, and is the largest beer festival in the world. The city welcomes over six million visitors for the celebration, with this year’s event having just recently begun. However, if you are not able to make it to Germany in time for the most authentic Oktoberfest there is, then these are some other Oktoberfest festivals around the world that will still provide you with a similar experience.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, Canada
The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, Kitchener and Waterloo are twin cities in Canada that have strong German roots, with Kitchener formerly being called Berlin. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a nine-day festival that is held over 18 days, and attracts over a million visitors each year. In addition to the beer-related events and entertainment, there are plenty of other Oktoberfest activities held in the two cities, from the Rocktoberfest concert to the Pancake Breakfast to the Oktoberfest Parade, which is the only major parade held on Canadian Thanksgiving Day.
Oktoberfest of Blumenau, Brazil
Held in the Brazilian city of Blumenau, in the region of Santa Catarina, Oktoberfest of Blumenau is the second largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, and is held at the Germanic Village Park for 17 days. There are numerous traditional German activities held throughout the festival, which is the largest in Latin America, from folk dancing to shooting matches, and, of course, plenty of German food and beer. One of the most highly anticipated events here each year is the National Competition of Chopp in Meter Drinkers, in which competitors have to drink one meter of beer without stopping, with the competition being held each night, and the winner being the competitor who drinks their beer the fastest.
German Bierfest, Hong Kong
Considered to be the best Oktoberfest celebration in Asia, Hong Kong’s German Bierfest is being held this year from October to November, and features a number of different Bavarian events. Officially hosted at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, although many other spots in the city will also be participating, German food and beer is accompanied by traditional folk music from the Notenhobler Band, which has been the official band of Hong Kong’s German Bierfest since 1994. Fun games and activities to look forward to include the strong man competition and the various beer drinking contests.
Oktoberfest Brisbane, Australia
The largest Oktoberfest celebration in Australia, Oktoberfest Brisbane attracts around 30,000 people each year, although they manage to maintain quite an intimate feel to the whole festival. Held over two weekends in October, the festival was first started by two Australian-German families, and while it may have had humble beginnings, it now always promises to be a fun-filled weekend. In addition to the German food and activities, Oktoberfest Brisbane also features traditional German beer that has been brewed specially for their event, and has been held to the exact same standards as the beer that has been brewed for Munich’s Oktoberfest.
There is no denying that for the most authentic Oktoberfest experience, Munich is the place to be. However, there is still plenty of authenticity to be found at the other Oktoberfests all over the world, so whether you happen to be in Hong Kong or Brisbane, you will still be able to enjoy a fun and exciting Oktoberfest.