8 San Antonio area celebrations putting the oom-pah-pah in Oktoberfest
One need not look far to see why Oktoberfest is such a big deal in San Antonio. The city’s German heritage is everywhere, from historical homes at the Hemisfair, to the names of streets like Wurzbach and Huebner. Even those who don’t have a drop of Bavarian blood know a good party when they see one.
Of course, that means that Oktoberfest options are nearly boundless in the city. Add the surrounding city’s fetes, and the choices can be overwhelming. Wondering where to start? Peruse the below list of happenings before dusting off the steins on the shelf.
Bier Garten Oktoberfest
This popular River Walk destination’s Oktoberfest annual bash is already in full swing, but guests have until October 29 to enjoy all the merrymaking. Test your lung capacity during an alp horn-blowing contest, or join in on one of the raucous sing-alongs. The beer specials change weekly, giving plenty of reasons for return visits. No tickets are required.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas Oktoberfest Food Festival
For a family-friendly alternative to the boozier celebrations, haul the kids to this theme park’s annual celebration of all things German. On Fridays through Sundays until October 29, guests can sample various Deutsch delights, including chicken schnitzel on a stick, sauerbraten, and apple strudel. For the adults, kiosks are scattered throughout the grounds, serving craft beer and ghoulish cocktails. (It is spooky season, after all.) And Der Wurst Band has a residency on Saturdays and Sundays to give the festivities a little more oom-pah.
Say danke schön to the planners of this citywide celebration, held October 6-8. They’ve booked five stages of entertainment from morning until midnight. In addition to all the polka, there are more than 60 food and beverage choices, a KinderPark for antsy kids, and yodeling tournaments. Advance ticket sales are closed, but admission is available at the gate.
With such a perfect pun, it’s hard to believe that Lockhart is only now hosting its first Oktoberfest downtown. Tons of local businesses are participating October 6-8 with activations and German-themed food specials. Highlights include a mini Bavarian festival at Best Little Wine & Books, polka sets performed by local bands, and even German-themed pizza.
Beethoven Mäennechor Oktoberfest
Unsurprisingly, the oldest German singing society in Texas hosts one of the area’s most popular Oktoberfest parties. From October 6-14, San Antonians can revel in tap beer tastings, delicious snacks, and musical performances. Those feeling competitive can also go for glory during the stein-hoisting competition. Best of all, tickets are only $8.
Hill Country Animal League Barktoberfest
Buy your dachshund a dirndl and head to Boerne’s Main Plaza on October 21. This fetching annual fundraiser combines waggish fun with German tradition. Warm fuzzy activities include a petting zoo, pet adoptions, and doggy dash races. Visitors will also be treated to food trucks and beer booths.
17th Annual San Antonio Beer Festival
This hoppy event is exactly as it sounds: a big celebration of all things beer. There will be more than 400 "premium and craft beers" from more than 100 brewers around the world on October 21 at Crockett Park, promising that no visitor will have to settle for anything but their ideal brew. Plus, look out for music, games, wines, ciders, food vendors, and more.
One of Central Texas’ grandest traditions, New Braunfels’ annual shindig has been slinging sausage since 1961. From November 3-12, pilgrims can stretch their lederhosen with festival favorites like Bretzel Wurst, Jager Dogs, and dozens of imported brews. With some liquid courage from a couple of pints, guests can also brave gravity defying carnival rides or take a spin on the dancefloor. Admission allows access to the entertainment; food and beverage is extra.