A Guide to America’s Top Celebrations of German Culture
Not surprisingly, it all started with a wedding. The famed Munich Oktoberfest, the annual festival of beer, made its first appearance more than 200 years ago, when Crown Prince Ludwig I invited the citizens of Munich to participate in the festivities surrounding his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. It’s a couple centuries later and what started out in the fields of Theresienwiese is now celebrated throughout the west and across America. Get ready to hoist a stein and propose at toast—Prosit! If you’re going to one of the country’s many Oktoberfest events, though, you’ll want to quaff a few—that’s part and parcel to the celebration. But you don’t want to worry about driving when the party’s over—there’s an easy way to have a great time and bring a bunch of friends with you—on a charter bus from BusRental.com. We’ll be your designated driver, so that you can join in the revelry.
There are literally hundreds of Oktoberfest celebrations across the United States every fall, some lasting a day or two and others going on for weeks. Here’s a guide to some of the top Oktoberfest-ivals in the country.
Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest, in Reading, Pennsylvania
In a poll conducted by USA Today, readers named this festival in east-central Pennsylvania as the nation’s best Oktoberfest. Celebrating its 130th year in 2018, the festival runs October 3-7 this year. Look for traditional German entertainment, including the Reading Liederkranz Singers and G.T.V. Edelweiss Verein. The festival also offers plenty of family entertainment, including jugglers, ventriloquists and German accordionists. Learn more at the Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest website.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest, in Leavenworth, Washington
For three consecutive weekends, commencing on October 5 an 6, this sleepy little town in the state of Washington will transform into a Bavarian Village, with thousands of visitors coming for its annual celebration of all things German. Tucked into the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth looks and feels like you’re a short trip from the beer halls in Munich. The town boasts a number of authentic German restaurants, as well as a local brewery that serves up plenty of Weissbier, Dunkelweissen, Hefeweizen, Berlinerweisse, Doppelbock and Kolsch. Leavenworth Oktoberfest offers beer, brats and live music at four different venues, as well as traditional German entertainment from around the world.
Oktoberfest Denver, in Denver, Colorado
The 49th annual Oktoberfest Denver runs two consecutive weekends this year, starting on September 21-23, 2018. A former winner in USA Today’s reader poll for best American Oktoberfests, Oktoberfest Denver features live entertainment from the Polkanauts, as well as craft beer from many of the great breweries in Denver and across the Rocky Mountain state. The Keg Bowling National Championships are held here every year—your opportunity to channel your inner Donkey Kong and roll out the barrels. There’s a traditional German stage, with plenty of oom-pah bands, and the 13th annual Long Dog Derby, where the world’s fastest dachshund will be crowned. To find out more, visit thedenveroktoberfest.com.
Wurstfest, in New Braunfels, Texas
It’s a 10 day party in Texas, starting on November 2, 2018. Show off your beer muscle in the Masskrugstemmen, a German contest of strength and endurance where you see who can hold a one liter stein of beer (about five pounds) straight out at shoulder level for the longest period of time. There’s lots of sausage, authentic German music, a dance contest, and, of course, plenty of German, Texan and other beers in the festival’s craft beer garden. Check out the Wurstfest website for a schedule of events.
Oktoberfest USA, in La Crosse, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is the heartland of German-American culture, so it’s not surprising that one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country can be found there. There’s plenty for everyone to do, from the craft beer night to the Miss La Crosse Oktoberfest Pageant. Visit “Festland,” a historical account of the 58 years of the festival, as well as the German-American presence throughout the state of Wisconsin. The festival draws more than 150,000 revelers every year, and will be held September 27, 30, 2018. Check out the Oktoberfest USA website for more information.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, in Cincinnati, Ohio
This is the big daddy, the nation’s largest annual celebration of beer, brats and the German tradition. This will be its 43rd year, and organizers anticipate that more than half a million people will be partying in the streets. The festival spills over across six blocks of the city’s downtown area. Get ready for the Chicken Dance—attendees are still trying to break the record for world’s largest, set in 1994, when more than 48,000 flapped their wings to Bavarian music. It’s a veritable potpourri of German delicacies, from brats, schnitzel and strudel to Limburger cheese, pickled pig’s feet and the famed giant six pound soft pretzels from Servatii Pastry Shop. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati runs September 21-23, 2018.
New Ulm’s Oktoberfest, in New Ulm, Minnesota
According to the U.S. Census, the tiny town of New Ulm, two hours southwest of Minneapolis, has the largest concentration of German citizens of any municipality in the United States—nearly 2/3rd of the town’s occupants are of German descent. New Ulm literally closes down Main Street every year and sets up food booths, beer tents and lots of picnic tables. Local brewery Schell’s provides plenty of authentic German suds and offers free tours of the brewery. This year’s celebration will be held the first two weekends of October. Learn more at newulmoktoberfest.com.
A Charter Bus—The Best Way to Enjoy Oktoberfest This Year
When you’re planning group travel, charter bus is the way to go. No other mode of transportation offers so many tangible benefits:
- A charter bus is safe and secure—Our drivers are the best in the world and they undergo regular and extensive training so that they have the skills to address any situation. You won’t have to worry about uninvited guests, either—the limited access to our coaches also keeps you and your personal items safe and secure.
- You can depend on a charter bus—We have access to a vast network of service providers, so you’ll never have to worry about a cancellation or delay. Our professional drivers will get you where you want to go, when you want to be there.
- A charter bus gives you flexibility—With a charter bus trip, you get to call the shots. You won’t have to choose from a limited number of prepackaged options—you decide where you want to go and when you want to be there. Last minute changes in itinerary can also be accommodated.
- A charter bus lets you let go—Seems like you always need another vacation when you get home from your vacation, doesn’t it? With a charter bus, that’ not going to happen. You won’t have to stress over a map or GPS, try to find a place to park, or deal with all the other motorists on the road. You’ll ride on the same bus for your entire trip, so you won’t have to sprint to make a connection or look for lost luggage. We won’t ask you to put your phone on “bus mode” or take off your shoes, either—there are no TSA lines on a charter bus.
- A charter bus won’t break the bank—Our rates are far more affordable than other modes of ground transportation and you don’t have to worry about gas or parking expenses. With the money you save, you can bring home some great souvenirs.
- A charter bus give you room to move—There’s more leg room than on any mode of transportation and the seats are plush and comfy. With the wide aisles, it’s easy to move about—and you can do that at any time!
- A charter bus is good for the environment—On a charter bus, you’ll help the planet. With everyone traveling on the same coach, your carbon footprint is dramatically reduced.
We Have the Ideal Size Coach for Your Group
Whether you’re going to Oktoberfest with a few friends or making it one big party, you’ll find the right coach for your group with BusRental.com. For a small group, there’s the Executive Sprinter Van, which seats up to 12 and has plenty of space for all your stuff. If you have more people wanting to enjoy Oktoberfest, our mini-buses seat 24 to 35 comfortably. If it’s a big celebration you have in mind, though, that’s not a problem. Our largest coaches accommodate up to 57 passengers and multiple bus rentals are always available. But why not make the whole trip one big Oktoberfest? With one of our luxurious party buses, you can bring up to 40 revelers, and you’ll enjoy state-of-the-art sound systems. Some of the party buses even have dance floors and wet bars.
Book Your Charter Coach to Oktoberfest Today
BusRental.com, the largest charter bus network in the nation, has set the standard in the charter bus industry for more than three decades, providing quality coaches to more than 21,000 events each year. To learn more about the different coaches in our fleet or to get a free quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.