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Friday Finds: Oktoberfest in California

For the first time since 2019, Oktoberfest is back in Munich, Germany. But you don’t need to haul your lederhosen all the way to Bavaria to enjoy this year’s festivities. California’s German communities will be pouring beer and handing out brats and pretzels all season long. Check out some of our favorite celebrations to get your chicken dance on.

Big Bear Oktoberfest

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October

For 52 years, Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest has welcomed revelers to a multi-week celebration at 6,750-feet altitude. Enjoy beer, brats and a rotating schedule of bands. This pine tree-set festival runs Friday through Sunday throughout October. bigbearevents.com

Orange County Oktoberfest

Every Wednesday through Sunday until November 6

One of the oldest running Oktoberfest events in California is held in a real Bavarian village in Huntington Beach. Throughout the year you can enjoy the creature comforts of German culture and sometimes hear the language spoken by employees around the village. There are several beer halls and an Old World German Restaurant, home to authentic Bavarian menus and foods year-round and host to Oktoberfest and other special events.  www.oldworldhb.com

Sacramento Turn Verein Oktoberfest

October 7 and 8

For 168 years, the Turn Verein (pronounced “TOORN-fair-ine”) has served as the center for German traditions in Sacramento. Founded in 1854, our historic club is where locals with German ancestry—and those with an interest in German culture—congregate to socialize, study German language, celebrate, exercise, and carry on revered German customs. This includes Sacramento’s first, best, and biggest annual Oktoberfest celebration. sacramentoturnverein.com

El Cajon Oktoberfest

September 30, October 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9

Oktoberfest in El Cajon is a family-friendly traditional festival promoting German food, culture and language. This year marks our club’s 50th celebration of this always upbeat event.  Live entertainment in the beer garden is provided by our popular band joining us from Germany, the Guggenbach-Buam. Enjoy folk dances, games and contests, vendor and craft booths; let your youngsters go crazy in the Kids’ Zone! On Saturday nights, the clubhouse is also open for dancing (8 PM to midnight), with live German music by the Gordon Kohl Band.  events.germanclubsandiego.org

Raise a glass to more Oktoberfest celebrations in California by visiting here.


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