Since its first festival in 1810, Germany’s Oktoberfest remains an annual tradition celebrated throughout the world. Today, many New Jerseyans partake in the yearly event’s activities, experiencing first hand Bavarian culture, cuisine, and of course––beer. From keg squatting to biergartens, NJ Oktoberfests are the best way to celebrate the tastes and tempos of autumn. This fall, grab a crisp Marzen lager and discover the depth of German authenticity at these NJ Oktoberfests.
Oktoberfest Bar Crawl | Hoboken, NJ
To celebrate the marriage of the crown prince on October 12, 1810, the royal family invited 40,000 citizens to a five day public festival. Maintaining tradition, Munich’s Oktoberfest spans two weeks and places lager at the forefront of the activities.
Admittedly, a two-week-long party may seem daunting. If you’re interested in celebrating the historical significance of Oktoberfest without the marathon, visit Hoboken’s Oktoberfest Beer Crawl on Sept. 17. With the purchase of tickets online, patrons receive a plethora of access to bars and activities throughout Hoboken. Wristbands provide discounts on select drinks and food, a digital bar crawl list, free entrance to participating venues and access to the costume contest.
Oktoberfest at Turkey Brook Park | Mount Olive, NJ
Even in Germany, Oktoberfest is currently celebrated in September. In favor of temperate weather, Munich altered the festival dates for a more inviting atmosphere. However, the Oktoberfest at Turkey Brook Park perpetuates the festival’s original inception, celebrating the event on Oct. 8.
The park hosts a variety of activities for guests of all ages. For kids, inflatable slides, pony rides, and hayrides are a few of the many attractions. Meanwhile, adults can try their hand at axe throwing or visit Jersey Girl Brewing for onsite drinks. Oktoberfest runs from noon until 9 p.m. Throughout the day, sing along to Mountain Express’ musical entertainment or marvel at featured dance performances.
Hamilton Oktoberfest | Hamilton Township, NJ
Oktoberfest isn’t complete without the pretzels and hot mustard. Even for non-beer drinkers, there’s plenty of authentic food and drinks to enjoy. On Oct. 16, indulge in everything Bavarian at Hamilton’s Oktoberfest. Hosted at Veterans Park, this event sees thousands of New Jersey residents each year, all eagerly cheering to the arrival of fall.
Along with a range of food and drink vendors, Hamilton’s Oktoberfest features plenty of fall and German-inspired activities. Live music, inflatable bounce houses, fire pits, petting zoos, and a crafter’s village are among several recently announced attractions. Whether for the pumpkins or sauerkraut, this Oktoberfest meets the spirit of tradition.
“Bier on the Pier” Oktoberfest | Wildwood, NJ
To kick-off the start of Oktoberfest in Munich, the mayor enters the oldest beer tent and taps the first keg. For the next two weeks, everything from chicken dances to gingerbread necklaces follow. Mimicking this tradition, Morey Pier’s “Bier on the Pier” ceremonial tapping of Warsteiner beer commences the festival. Beginning on Sept. 20 and running for four consecutive weekends, this event largely simulates an authentic Oktoberfest.
Attractions include a “Rootbier Garten” for kids––which hosts pumpkin and cookie decorating. For adults, an alcoholic biergarten offers ice cold domestic and German beer drafts. If you’re looking to grab a bite, food vendors will prepare authentic favorites such as pierogies, Bavarian pretzels, and bacon skewers. Explore each weekend’s musical entertainment for a complete NJ Oktoberfest experience.
Skylands Stadium Oktoberfest | Augusta, NJ
The rowdiness of Munich’s Oktoberfest isn’t just a result of beer. With a minimum drinking age of 16, Germany’s festival lagers are available to thousands of citizens. Yet, if you’re looking to celebrate among an older crowd, visit Skylands Stadium’s 21+ Oktoberfest event on Sept. 17. Offering more than 25 kinds of beer and a 32 ounce souvenir stein, this festivity is perfect for a night out.
Aside from ales, the venue also provides ciders, seltzers, and soft drinks––along with special German foods. Skylands Stadium’s Oktoberfest is also ripe with games. From giant pong to keg squatting, individuals can test their strength and agility among fellow guests. Relax to live music or participate in a range of competitions to experience Oktoberfest in all its glory.
Feature image courtesy of Kazuend.
Have you visited any NJ Oktoberfests? Tell us about it in the comments!