You can't mention Oktoberfest celebrations without mentioning Munich. This is, after all, the city where it all started. This 16-day festival attracts more than 6 million people each year, consuming an average of 1.6 million gallons of beer. This year's festivities will include a carnival with the world's tallest transportable free fall ride ... we recommend riding before you hit the beer tents.
September 21 - October 6
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Brazil isn't exactly known for beer, so it may come as a surprise that the world's second largest Oktoberfest celebration is held in the Brazilian city of Blumenau. The city was founded by German immigrants in 1850 and has held to its roots, especially come October. Over half a million people attended last year's event, and this year should be even bigger, with local and German beers, traditional German foods, oompah music and a parade.
Many a US city hosts Oktoberfest parties, but none do it quite like Cincinnati. The annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati -- the largest Oktoberfest party in the country -- takes place along 5th Street in Downtown Cincinnati and are free to the public. Events include a bratwurst eating contest, wiener race, stein hoisting championship and the world's largest chicken dance. Rumor has it George Takei will be participating.
Stein hoisting, keg bowling, a bratwurst eating contest, Long Dog Derby and the Das Hustlehoff 5K are just a few of the events that make up the annual Oktoberfest in Denver. Each year, more than 350,000 people attend the festivities held at 20th and Larimer, making it one of the country's biggest, oldest and best German parties.
September 27-29 and October 4-6
For a German-themed party Down Under, make your way to the city of Canberra, the capital of Australia and largest inland city. This family-friendly event includes traditional German dancing, live music, a stein hoisting competition, imported German groceries and food stalls selling Bavarian favorites like pork knuckles and pretzels.
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The Marco Polo German Bierfest will be celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year -- that's over two decades of bringing all things Bavarian to locals, expats and travelers in Hong Kong. Over 50,000 guests are expected to attend, consuming 18,000 pieces of pork knuckle and drinking 20,000 gallons of beer.
October 25 - November 16
Canada's biggest Bavarian festival takes place in Kitchener-Waterloo, complete with 16 festival halls and 40 cultural events for the whole family. If you're in Ontario for Canada's Thanksgiving Day on October 14, snag a spot to watch the festival's highlight, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Tulsa Oktoberfest is one of the largest Bavarian festivals in the nation and one of the most authentic. The festival organizers go so far as to fly in oompah bands all the way from Germany, and you can bet on at least a few instances of the Chicken Dance during the four-day celebration.
The town of La Crosse has been hosting Oktoberfest, USA for more than 50 years. The celebration features carnival rides, German musicians, children's entertainment, Bavarian foods and the annual Maple Leaf Parade. If polka's not your thing, the festival also features live music by local pop, rock, country and blues groups, so there's something for everyone.
September 27 - October 5
Weekend visitors to Big Bear Lake this autumn will be treated to German food and fun, California-style. The event's 43rd installment will include three outdoor biergartens, a full lineup of live music, a German Spooktacular costume contest, log sawing competitions, clogging and polka dancing.
September 14 - October 26