Celebrate Oktoberfest Near These Military Bases
Who doesn't love fall? And even if celebrating the autumn season has become something of a social media cliché involving salted caramel lattes, pumpkin everything, and photos of crunchy fall leaves paired with tall boots, there’s one thing many military families can agree on: Oktoberfest!
“Oktoberfest, an annual festival in Munich, Germany, is held over a two-week period and ends on the first Sunday in October. The festival originated on October 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.”
But for most of us, Oktoberfest = beer + celebration. While you may not be near enough to attend Oktoberfest in Munich (the largest folk festival in the world, by the way), there are still plenty of opportunities for you to find Oktoberfest festivities near many military bases. Oktoberfest traditionally ends in early October, but in true American fashion, we let the celebration go on much longer.
Check out these Oktoberfest events at a military base near you!
Oktoberfest in the National Capital Region
If you’re at Fort Belvoir, the Pentagon, Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, or any of the military bases in the DC area, you can easily get your fill of beer, bratwurst, schnitzel, and outdoor activities.
While some of these events end in late September, there are many that extend into October. Take your pick and get more info at the Washington Post list of the 21 best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in D.C.
The Macon Beer Fest is a "beer festival" taking place October 14 in historic downtown Macon. The fest offers more than 100 varieties of craft beer and wine and live music. You might also want to form a team to take part in the 1-mile “Beer Run"! The event has an added purpose of educating men about the risks of prostate cancer with its "Pints for Prostates."
Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield
If you happen to be stationed at Fort Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield, consider yourself lucky this October! The Oktoberfest Plant Riverside District in Savannah is the place to be every Saturday afternoon from October 4-28. Immerse yourself in a world of German-themed activities, live polka music, and competitions like the strudel walk, keg bowling, and stein holding. Best of all, these family-friendly festivities are completely free and open to the public. And of course, you'll want to indulge in the specialty beers and authentic German cuisine offered at the restaurants in the Plant Riverside District.
Oktoberfest Events and Wurstfest near Joint Base San Antonio
Though not in October, the nearby New Braunfels Wurstfest is legendary and not to be missed, and runs from November 3-12 . This festival celebrates the area’s rich German heritage with food, music, dancing, carnival rides, and games; German, Texan and domestic beer; and special events.
Celebrate Oktoberfest in the San Diego Area
Enjoy your beer with a view of the Pacific Ocean! If you’re stationed in San Diego, nearby Ocean Beach is hosting the OB Oktoberfest October 6-7. Grab your lederhosen or dirndl and take in local bands throughout the weekend and loads of other festivities and contests.
Beers and Brats in Hampton Roads, Virginia
You'll find Oktoberfest events galore in the Hampton Roads region. Whether in the cities of Hampton, Yorktown, Virginia Beach, or Norfolk, you won’t run out of fall and Oktoberfest events, beginning in mid-September. See below for details and dates. There are many to choose from!
- Hampton and Norfolk Oktoberfest events
- Virginia Beach Oktoberfest
- York County’s “Yorktoberfest”
- Williamsburg Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest Near Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Those stationed at Fort Campbell have a variety of Oktoberfest events to choose from, though it might involve a drive, including the "Live on the Lawn" in Kuttawa or the Stein Hoisting event at City Tap in Nashville. Live music, German food, games and, of course, cold beer are on the menu. See Kentucky Oktoberfest events here.
Photo from Canva
Oktoberfest Tampa Near MacDill AFB
The Tampa area will hold its annual Oktoberfest Tampa over 3 days from October 13-15 at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. For three full days, Tampa's waterfront area will be transformed into a giant Biergarten, complete with games, entertainment, and of course, delicious food.
Known as one of the “Top 5 Oktoberfests in the Country,” entrance is free for military, veterans, and their spouses.
Photo from Canva
Oktoberfest at RAF Lakenheath, England
On Saturday, September 30 the Liberty Club at Lakenheath will put on its annual Oktoberfest. The evening begins with family-friendly events from 5-8 p.m., then after 8 p.m., it's fun for ages 18+ only. There's a live German band and a German buffet filled with all your favorites! Get the details from Lakenheath’s FSS.
Is there an Oktoberfest happening at a military installation near you? Tell us about it in the comments! In the meantime, Prost!
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