Originally celebrated in early-1800s Germany in honor of the country’s royal family, present-day Oktoberfest is simply a reason for millions of people to drink, eat and be merry. The Munich celebration may have more than 150 years on ours, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to party German-style! Here’s where to drink (and eat) your way through Oktoberfest in San Diego.
La Mesa Oktoberfest:
Sept 30 – Oct 3 The 43rd Annual La Mesa Oktoberfest is bigger and better than ever! Happening since 1973, the event has evolved and now features hundreds of exhibitors, family friendly activities, German food, music, dancing, games and of course, plenty of beer. This year, it’s spread out over nearly six City blocks in La Mesa Village (and it’s still free to attend!)
Oktoberfest in El Cajon
Sept 30 – Oct 2 Come and enjoy some truly authentic German food, like bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, potato salad, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage, pretzels, and a variety of German pastries — not to mention an awesome selection of German beers and specialty liquors. The live band hails from a small German town and dons traditional clothing to play a variety of German music. Watch traditional folk dancing performances, compete in games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths, and treat your kids to their own Kids’ Zone.
Oct 2 From 10am-6pm, hang out in Encinitas for their yearly tradition! This year’s event features a German-American Band, Bavarian dancers, a kids’ zone with rides, and a street craft faire showcasing over 200 vendors including artisans with unusual arts and craft items. The family food and refreshment tent will be serving authentic German food and beers from national and local breweries. Bonus: don’t miss the ceremonial parade at 12pm!
Oct 1 From 12pm-10pm, be a part of this Carlsbad tradition at Holiday Park for a day of great food, awesome music, and festive fun. Fill your day with famed Chicken dance performances, a delicious German meal, pretzels, and ice cold beers! There will also be entertainment and fun activities for kids of all ages, including a special pumpkin patch where they can decorate pumpkins, hang out in inflatable jumpy houses, face paint, and enjoy a few fun surprises.
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
Oct 7 & 8 Head to the foot of OB Pier for this two-day beachside festival that includes a variety of exciting activities, contests, and entertainment. Saturday features the famed OB Brat Trot, if you’re interested in getting some exercise during your beer and sausage filled weekend. Choose between 2K Family Fun Run ($25 entry) or 5K ($30 entry). There will also be a Sausage Toss competition, live music in the beer garden, and plenty of German food!
BIER/San Diego Oktoberfest
Oct 8 The Brew Project & Hard Rock Hotel are hosting Gaslamp’s 1st Traditional Oktoberfest! The Oktoberfest “Bier” Program will consist of special German-style beers from San Diego’s top breweries. There will also be live music, several costume and eating contests, and specialty German food including Giant Bavarian pretzels, Bier mustard and cheese, and German sausages.
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