Could there be a more fun celebration than Oktoberfest? Here at Keystone Festivals, we love all of our festivals but have to admit we have a special place in our heart for Oktoberfest.
Not only is Oktoberfest widely celebrated and truly a great time, but it also marks the end of the festival season for us. As we say goodbye to our summer, Oktoberfest is the perfect way to kick off fall (and let’s be honest, winter in Colorado).
After years of putting on our own Oktoberfest, we thought it would be fun to share ten different ways countries all over the world celebrate Oktoberfest. From incorporating horse racing to black tie events, the variety of things to do at Oktoberfest’s around the world is astounding!
Here are our favorite different ways Oktoberfest is celebrated around the world:
- Pair Rock and Metal Music with Oktoberfest: Okinawa, Japan
- Crowning the “Bierkönigin” (Queen of Beers): Namibia, South Africa
- Down Under “Torwand Schiessen” (goal shooting): Brisbane, Australia
- 5 Locations in 1 City plus Beach Options: Dubai, United Emirates
- Horse racing: Hong Kong, China
- A German Fiesta: Mexico City, Mexico
- National Competition of Chopp in Meter Drinkers: Catarina, Brazil
- Combining Two Great Things: Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
- Traditional & Massive: Munich, Germany
- Running of the Weiners: Cincinnati, OH USA
- BONUS: Keystone Colorado’s Oktoberfest
Pair Rock and Metal Music with Oktoberfest: Okinawa, Japan
You read it right! In Okinawa, Japan, at their Rocktoberfest celebration, they have been known to listen to rock and metal music, instead of traditional German music, during their Oktoberfest. In Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, they also have an Oktoberfest that lasts ten days and is claimed as the longest-running Oktoberfest in Asia.
Crowning the “Bierkönigin” (Queen of Beers): Namibia, South Africa
Named one of Africa’s six best festivals, Namibia’s Oktoberfest is a highlight for visitors and locals alike. They spice up their Oktoberfest Namibia by crowning the queen of beers and having the official “Bierkonigin” come from Germany to visit the event. Another highlight is their tree sawing competition!
Down Under “Torwand Schiessen” (goal shooting): Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane Australia’s Oktoberfest activities are on the next level! They feature Torwand Schiessen, which is German for goal shooting, as physical activity during their Oktoberfest each year. They also do a Strongman Competition that features a jam donut eating competition!
Dubai is known for its luxury, beautiful skyline, and sweltering heat. In Dubai, they do Oktoberfest right and celebrate throughout the city at different bars and hotels. There are even Oktoberfest celebrations on the Dubai beach!
Horse Racing: Hong Kong, China
One of the most exciting versions of Oktoberfest we’ve found is the Oktoberfest at Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong. The event features nine sensational horse races and the rest of traditional German food, music, and celebration.
A German Fiesta: Mexico City, Mexico
Did you know that there are places in Mexico where native residents speak German? In Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico and other German communities like Nuevo León, Puebla, Mexico City, Sinaloa and Chiapas, and the Yucatan Peninsula descendants there still speak German. Mexico City’s Oktoberfest adds a Mexican flair to the event and even sets up an amusement ride for the festival.
National Competition of Chopp in Meter Drinkers: Catarina, Brazil
The world’s second-largest Oktoberfest celebration happens in Brazil. It’s called Blumenau and has been celebrated annually since 1984! Their special twist on Oktoberfest lies in their 17 days of partying and their National Competition of Chopp in Meter Drinkers. This competition happens each night, and the winner is the one who can drink and not spill even a drop of a meter of beer.
Combining Two Great Things: Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Combining Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest is a bold move, but it works in Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario. Each year, the Thanksgiving parade kicks off their Oktoberfest celebrations combining two great reasons to party into one. There is also a black-tie event crowning their Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo queen!
Traditional & Massive: Munich, Germany
Parades, music, beer tapping (and drinking), a church service, and so much more happens at the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. It is the be-all, end-all of Oktoberfest’s around the world and should be placed on your bucket list immediately!
Running of the Weiners: Cincinnati, OH – USA
If you have ever wanted to start an Oktoberfest off right, Zinzinnati’s Oktoberfest knows how. The annual Running of the Wieners kicks off the largest Oktoberfest in the US, with over 100 dachshunds that are dressed up as hot dogs racing to the finish line! We can’t wait to see it one day!
How does your town or city celebrate Oktoberfest? Let us know in the comments, and thank you for reading the ten ways different countries celebrate Oktoberfest from Keystone Festivals!