A Guide to NYC's 2016 Oktoberfest
In 1810, Kronprinz Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate their marriage, which included tons of festivities and a parade. There were horse races, wine and beer tastings, and traditional German costumes. In 1818, they added carnival booths and prizes of silver, gold, and porcelain jewelry. Finally, in 1819, the city fathers decided that this spectacle should be an annual event. The dates were later pushed since the days are longer and warmer at the end of September.
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and is held annually in Munich, Germany for sixteen to eighteen days. New York City also hosts its own Oktoberfest from September 17th to October 1st. There’s live music, tons of beer, and traditional German food. They don’t offer designated drivers, but they do have foosball, face painting, ping pong, and much more to replicate the Munich experience in New York.
Here’s a guide on the local events and how to attend:
Oktoberfest Tent – Munich on the East River
September 23rd – October 2nd from 5pm – 10pm
Zum Schneider Oktoberfest Tent, 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East
Zum Schneider, the original Bavarian Bierhaus in NYC, presents a traditional and memorable experience with a fully decked out tent, liter steins, a live band, traditional Oktoberfest beers on tap (HB Traunstein Festbier, Andechs Festbier, Paulaner Märzen and Paulaner Wiesn), and Oktoberfest roasted chicken and pork shank. There are stands outside the tent that sell roasted almonds, gingerbread hearts, giant Brezn, cotton candy, and more. Feeling brave? Join the strongman competition or join in on the games, take a picture with your best friend at the photo booth, or ride the carousel for a spectacular view of the East River.
Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest girl holding beer steins
4th Annual Oktoberfest
September 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th, and Oct 1st and 2nd from 12pm until 12am
Watermark (Pier 15), 78 South Street
For three weekends in Brooklyn, enjoy the spirit of Munich here in New York at this event with live music, steins of beer, traditional Oktoberfest food, and fun for the entire family. Dig into delicious food like doughy salted pretzels and juicy bratwurst, which you can scarf down at the picnic tables under the tents. Their authentic flight of beers (Hofbrau, Weihenstephan, and Radeberger) cost only $8 a glass and the steins run a mere $16 (if you’re feeling ambitious). There are also beautiful views of the East River, Williamsburg Bridge, and Brooklyn skyline surrounding the 3,500 square foot venue.
Oktoberfest with the NY Mets
September 23rd, pre-game at 5:40pm, game at 7:10pm
Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
It may seem counter-intuitive to head to America’s pastime to celebrate Germany, but they have a lot more in common than you think – they do both agree that pretzels, beer, and ball franks are pertinent to the party. Head over to Citi Field to celebrate Oktoberfest and watch the New York Mets take on the Philadelphia Phillies for their annual Oktoberfest Night. You’ll receive access to a pre-game party in the Bullpen Plaza and a limited edition Mets Oktoberfest commemorative gift (last year it was a Met’s boot glass). The pre-game party includes a DJ, tons of delicious food offerings from the stadium, and limited edition Oktoberfest beers.
Cabalgata Oktoberfest parade float
59th Steuben Parade in Central Park
September 17th from 12pm – 3pm
Starts at 5th Ave and 65th
Since 1957, the German American parade has marched proudly in Germanic heritage and cultural attire with regional costumes, marching bands, decorated floats, dance groups, and much more. The largest event of its kind in the United States, this event celebrates the achievements of German immigrants in the United States with fellow German folks. The march starts at noon – beginning at 65th Street and ending at 86th Street. Grab your lederhosen and head over to Central Park to join the fun!
Join the 2.2 million other New Yorkers of German descent for an amazing time celebrating throughout the city. Be sure to drink all of the incredibly crafted German beers responsibly by getting to the festivities and back safely. Happy Oktoberfest!
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