Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest wins Readers' Choice award
New Ulm Oktoberfest, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa in top five
Oktoberfest was born in 1810 when Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese, and they threw quite the beer-infused party to celebrate. Today, the German festival is recreated all over the globe, including in many American cities.
St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest (Chicago)
is no stranger to Oktoberfest, with celebrations staged throughout the city, but handmade bratwurst, cold craft beer and lively music from authentic German bands are just part of what make St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest one of the best in the area. This September event features indoor-outdoor activities and games for the whole family, including a two-day Kinderfest with family-centric fun. Photo courtesy of St. Aldophus Catholic
Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest (Hunter, N.Y.)
For four weekends, Hunter Mountain in the Catskills hosts a free Oktoberfest celebration featuring German food, live entertainment, arts and crafts and beautiful fall foliage. Photo courtesy of Hunter Mountain
Oktoberfest Live! (Philadelphia)
Part of the Xfinity Live! lineup of festivals, Oktoberfest Live! takes place the last Saturday in September. This Philadelphia event features live music all day, food trucks, games, giveaways and more than 250 beers from 125 breweries to sample in custom steins. Photo courtesy of XFINITY Live!
Wurstfest (New Braunfels, Texas)
Wurstfest's 10-day salute to all things German takes place each November in the town of New Braunfels, Texas, following a tradition started in 1961 with what was then known as "Sausage Festival." Today's visitors can partake in a host of fun, which this year includes some 20 vendors offering Bavarian merchandise and foods. A craft beer garden, live music, food trucks and carnival rides add to the party. The Bavarian Masskrustemmen (meaning beer-stein holding) contest challenges participants to hold a liter of beer in one out-stretched hand for as long as possible. Photo courtesy of Wurstfest
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest (Big Bear Lake, Calif.)
Big Bear Lake has been showcasing German tradition for nearly five decades with a roster of colorful events on weekends throughout September and October. German immigrants Hans and Erika Bandows started the event in 1969 as a way to honor their culture by holding an Oktoberfest just like the one they had frequented in their native Munich. Today, bratwursts, sauerkraut, apple strudel and beer line up with live music, souvenirs and more to mark the event. Photo courtesy of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa (Tulsa)
During October, Tulsa hosts an authentic Bavarian festival, closely aligned with the famous Munich event. Since 1978, Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa has featured signature German bands, arts, crafts, European cuisine and fun for the whole family. Bratwurst, German beers, Bavarian cheesecake and arts and crafts are included in the line-up. Midway rides, Chicken dances, face painting and the highly anticipated Dachshund Dash promise family fun. Photo courtesy of Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (Cincinnati)
Each September Downtown Cincinnati
comes alive during Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. Said to be the largest such celebration in the U.S., it draws some 500,000 revelers with live music, dancing and the running of the Wiener dogs – each of them sporting an adorable hot dog and bun outfit. In 1994 the Crown Prince of Bavaria attended the event, helping them set a world record for the "World's Largest Chicken Dance" with 48,000 participants. Photo courtesy of Leigh Taylor
Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (Mount Angel, Ore.)
Mount Angel, Oregon began its Oktoberfest tradition in 1965, honoring all things German. More than 125 vendors will be showcasing Bavarian-themed arts and crafts, while foodies will enjoy sausage, brats, sauerkraut and other favorites. Highlights will also include dancing, Wiener-dog races, car shows and marathons. Photo courtesy of Mount Angel Oktoberfest
New Ulm Oktoberfest (New Ulm, Minn.)
Modeled after Munich's renowned celebration, New Ulm Oktoberfest takes place during the first two weekends in October. Festivities include hometown bands, horse-drawn trolley rides, specialty shops, food vendors and the popular Schell's Beer Wagon. Public tours will be offered of the John Lind House, Wanda Gag House, Hermann Monument, and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. The 45-foot Musical Glockenspiel will be heard chiming throughout, while 12 figurines depicting characters from the city's history rotate on a circulating stage during performances. Photo courtesy of Paul Stafford / Explore Minnesota Tourism Photo
Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest (Reading, Penn.)
Reading Leiderkranz Oktoberfest in Reading, Penn. celebrates all things Germany with the traditional food and fanfare you'd expect of this time-honored festival. A Biergarten and food vendor booths cook up typical fare, while live music, a roving ventriloquist and magic shows provide more family-friendly entertainment. Photo courtesy of Joe Pettyjohn
We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to vote for their favorite American Oktoberfest celebrations, and after four weeks of daily voting, the results are in.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Oktoberfest are as follows:
- Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest - Reading, Penn.
- New Ulm Oktoberfest - New Ulm, Minn.
- Mt. Angel Oktoberfest - Mount Angel, Ore.
- Oktoberfest Zinzinnati - Cincinnati
- Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa - Tulsa
- Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest - Big Bear Lake, Calif.
- Wurstfest - New Braunfels, Texas
- Oktoberfest Live! - Philadelphia
- Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest - Hunter, N.Y.
- St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest - Chicago
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Nick Costa (The Hop Review) and Gary Monterosso (What’s On Tap,) were chosen based on their knowledge of American beer culture.
Congratulations to all these winning events!