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    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!

    If you’ve been stationed in Germany, I doubt you need an explanation of Oktoberfest. For everyone else, here’s a little history from Brittanica.com

    “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 Munich, GermanyOktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Photo by Chandramohan Sudar on Unsplash

    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. 

    Georgia Oktoberfests 

    Robins AFB

    Military and families stationed at Robins AFB can head to nearby Macon for Oktoberfest fun. 

    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.

    Munich biergarten with pretzels and German beer. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

    Oktoberfest Events and Wurstfest near Joint Base San Antonio

    The San Antonio area loves to celebrate Oktoberfest! Find events throughout October: All Events in 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. 

    German men wearing lederhosen OktoberfestPhoto by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


    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!  

    Can't get enough Oktoberfest? Check out these other Oktoberfest celebrations around the world!

    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

    Typical German food of pretzels, beer, and bratwurst. 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. 

    People in traditional German clothing with beer steins 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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    Jen McDonald


    Jen McDonald

    Jen McDonald is the Content Editor for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She's a longtime writer, the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse and Milspouse Matters: Sharing Strength Through Our Stories. Jen is also the host of the Milspouse Matters podcast, and has written hundreds of articles and essays which have been published in other books and numerous publications. She was a military spouse for 30 years and is the mom of four, including one son in the military. One of her happiest roles now is being a grandmother. She and her veteran Air Force husband have been stationed all around the world from Europe to the Pacific and won’t count how many houses they’ve lived in because that would be too depressing. Her passion is encouraging young military spouses and regularly sharing about topics like military life, parenting, homeschooling...and now grandparenting! See more from Jen at her site, Jen McDonald and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest.

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