It’s almost the most brew-tiful time of the year: Oktoberfest.
This folk festival originated in Munich, Germany in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The tradition has continued to grow into the world’s largest Volkfest — read: people festival — filled with beer, traditional Bavarian music, performances, parades, and German outfits.
But don’t worry, you won’t need to hop on a plane to join the festivities. We gathered five celebrations to plan for a pitcher-perfect Oktoberfest.
Steel Hands Oktoberfest | Friday, Sept. 15 | Join the free Oktoberfest event at Steel Hands for German music, food, special beer releases, and various competitions, including a costume contest and traditional games.
Columbia Craft Oktoberfest | Saturday, Oct. 7 | Celebrate with the release of the new Festbier and grab a Curry Wurst from The Wurst Wagen.
Newberry Oktoberfest | Saturday, Oct. 7 | This free event is Newberry’s largest annual event and features live music all day, a best traditional dress contest, and wandering accordionist Bob Wilusz in full German clothing.
River Rat Brewery Oktoberfest | Saturday, Oct. 7 | Bring your appetite for brats, spaetzle, pretzels, and German beers.
Oktoberfest at WeCo Bottle and Biergarten | Friday, Oct. 13-15 | The West Columbia biergarten will double the food trucks for the weekend and have a rotation of German brews on tap.
Bierkeller Columbia | Saturday, Oct. 14 + Sunday, Oct. 15 | Bierkeller has that Oktoberfest feel year-round, but the new German inspired bar will host its first official festivities this year at the new Canalside location.
Oktoberfest Columbia | Friday, Oct. 20 - 22 | Columbia’s original Oktoberfest at Incarnation Lutheran Church offers authentic German beer, food, live oompah bands, pastries, and family-friendly entertainment.