Get your oom pa pa party hat on, break out the beer mugs and stretch your stomachs: it's Oktoberfest time. The one glorious time of year where it is a person's right to drink golden-hued beer in the out of doors and down sausages like there's no tomorrow. There are several opportunities to partake in this German rite of seasonal passage around the cities, whether you're looking for a night to embrace your leather pant collection or a spot to dance the night away, we have you covered.
1) Saint Paul Oktoberfest
When: September 20
Where: The Klub Haus
What: Dig deep into your German roots at Saint Paul's 14th annual Oktoberfest. Hosted by the Klub Haus in Saint Paul's North End, this Oktoberfest includes a historical re-enactment of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen. Of course, there will be folk music, beer, and food by The Glockenspiel restaurant. Admission is $5.
2)Twin Cities Oktoberfest
When: October 3-4
Where: Minnesota State Fair Grounds
What: Partnering with Summit Brewery and Pedroncelli Winery, the Twin Cities this Oktoberfest is a grandiose two day event. The festival includes both an indoor and outdoor seating, lots of music, food, games, and merchandise vendors. Admission is $25 and includes a beer stein and 25 oz. beer voucher.
3) Black Forest Inn Oktoberfest
When: September 26-October 5, 2014
Where: Black Forest Inn
What: Black Forest Inn's weeklong Oktoberfest is jam packed with German-ness. Their theme nights range from Eurotrash (leather pants required) to Angela Merkel. The festivities end (if you make it to the end) on Drain the Keg night, where the price of beer starts dropping at 2 p.m. and keeps falling until it's gone. Ready to take the week off? Admission is your sanity.
4)Harriet Brewing Rauchfest
When: September 27, 2017
Where: Harriet Brewing
What: Looking for a more subdued festival? Harriet Brewing's 4th Annual Rauchfest has got you covered. This one-day festival revolves around Harriet Brewing's single-batch German-style smoked Lager, the festival's namesake. To go along with their masterpiece, there will be food from Tollefson's Family Pork, The Moral Omnivore, and Butcher Salt. Plus, music and art. Admission is free and kids are welcome during the day.
5. New Bohemia Oktoberfest
When: September 26-27, 2014
Where: New Bohemia Restaurant
What: A newcomer to the Twin Cities Oktoberfest lineup, New Bohemia is a modern interpretation of this historical festival--an interpretation that includes beer pong, giant Jenga, and keg bowling. Admission is either $5 plus $5 beers or $40 for all you can drink. You make the decision, but leave the kids at home, this event is 21+.
6) Padelford Riverboats Oktoberfest Lunch Cruise
When: Saturdays in October
Where: Harriet Island
What: Do you love the game of hammerschlagen but are only willing to play it on a boat? Good news: the Padelford Riverboats has a lunch cruise for just that desire. The 4 hour Oktoberfest trip includes an authentic German meal, 2-for-1 beer specials, polka music, entertainment from ""Helga the Hamburg Wench," and of course, some rousing games of hammerschlagen, on a boat! Tickets are $43 per person and you can book online on the Padelford Riverboat website. Hammers to the ready.
Also of Note: Enjoy rooftop beers at Uptown Tavern's Oktoberfest on Saturday September 20 starting at 11a.m. The Herkimer is hosting a Lyn Lake Oktoberfest on Saturday September 27 at 5 p.m.. 612 Brew has games, music, food from Nate Dogs and Red River Pizza Wagon, plus free admission Saturday September 17.Glockenspiel hosts "Glock-toberfest" on Saturday October 4th with a beer garden, meat raffle and more.
[Picture via Twin Cities Oktoberfest: Facebook]