Steins up, South Florida. For the next few weeks, parks, restaurants and even an abandoned stadium will host celebrations of Bavarian culture.
In Germany, Octoberfest begins in mid-September, but in South Florida, some of the most established events take place in October. Local Oktoberfest celebrations will feature live German music, traditional dances, pig roasts, dachshund races and, of course, plenty of beer.
Oakland Park Oktoberfest
5-11 p.m. Sept. 30, 1-11 p.m. Oct. 1 and noon-5 p.m. Oct. 2 at Jaco Pastorius Park, 1098 NE 40th Court, Oakland Park. Admission is $5 for attendees 12 and up. Call 954-630-4507 or go to OaklandParkFL.gov or FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
As a first-time sponsor of this annual event, Oakland Park's Funky Buddha Brewery created two beers especially for the three-day festival: Buddhafest Marzen, a malty beer, and the Jaco Pilsner. Those beers will also be available at the brewery until Oct. 16. Familiar Buddha offerings such as the Hop Gun IPA and the Floridian, a German Hefeweizen, will be served at Oktoberfest. The brewery's chef, Jeff Vincent, created a German-inspired menu for the event, featuring dishes such as a grilled, beer-braised bratwurst, and kartoffelpuffers, which are potato pancakes. There will also be carnival rides, live German music, and beer stein and barrel races.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
7 p.m.-2 a.m. Sept. 30, 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 1 and noon-8 p.m. Oct. 2 at 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free. Call 305-461-2700 or go to ThisIsOctoberfest.com.
Wynwood has been declared a Zika-free zone just in time for October's beer festivities. Samuel Adams Octoberfest is free, but the event offers a $10 package that comes with a Bavarian hat and a stein filled with beer. The event will feature live music and dancing, food trucks, a Miss Octoberfest contest, and other games and competitions. To get your first beer for free, RSVP at ThisIsOctoberfest.com/Free-Beer.
Oktoberfest at the Biergarten in Boca Raton
Fridays at 5:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 1-2, Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16 at the Biergarten, 309 Via de Palmas, Suite 90, Boca Raton. Admission is free. Call 561-395-7462 or go to BiergartenBoca.com.
The Biergarten in Boca Raton will host Oktoberfest events the first three weekends of October. Each celebration will feature live German music, beer specials, contests and games. A pig roast will take place on Saturdays. On Oct. 8, TVs in the upstairs bar and lounge will screen the soccer match between Germany and Czech Republic starting at 2:45 p.m. Happy-hour specials will be offered 4-7 p.m. Fridays and all day Sundays during Oktoberfest.
American German Club of the Palm Beaches' Oktoberfest
5-11 p.m. Fridays, noon-11 p.m. Saturdays, and noon-8 p.m. Sundays. Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16 at the American German Club of the Palm Beaches, 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth. Admission is $8 to $20. Call 561-967-6464 or go to AmericanGermanClub.org/Oktoberfest.
This festival is for people looking for an authentic Oktoberfest that goes beyond beer racing and chugging. The American German Club's 43rd Oktoberfest will feature traditional folk dancing and music, including two bands coming straight from Germany. Beer imported from Munich will be served, and the food menu is authentic, including a variety of dishes with names most non-German speakers won't be able to pronounce. There will also be carnival rides and a flag parade. Go to AmericanGermanClub.org/Oktoberfest/Prize to enter a contest awarding a free trip to Germany. The winner doesn't need to be at the event to redeem the prize, but must physically drop off the entry form at the American German Club before the festival.
2:30-7 p.m. Oct. 15 at Miami Marine Stadium, 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. Admission is $40-$90. Call 305-461-2700 or go to Grovetoberfest.com.
Grovetoberfest will feature about 400 international, national and local craft beers. Wynwood Brewing Company, J. Wakefield Brewing, MIA Brewing, Funky Buddha, Banging Banjos and Due South are among the participating South Florida breweries. The festival includes three ticket options with different entrance times. The VIP package with entrance at 2:30 p.m. costs $90, and includes access to a lounge, free food and a beer glass. The Beer Socialite package costs $70, and entrance starts at 3 p.m. It includes a beer glass and a tote bag. General admission costs $40 in advance and $45 at the gate. Entrance starts at 4 p.m.
Dachstoberfest Doxie Dash
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 23 at North Clematis St. and South Narcissus Avenue in West Palm Beach. Admission is free. Go to Dachstoberfest.com.
To take a break from all the beer, attend this alternative celebration featuring dachshund races and costume contests. Dogs will be compete in several categories, including puppy, adult, old-school and Wienie wannabe, for mixed breed. Owners will have an hour and a half to practice the run with their pets starting at 9 a.m. The races will begin at 10:30 a.m. The costume contest categories include most original, owner-pet look-alike, funniest costume, most HalloWIENie and Hot Dogs R Us, in which the animals are made to look like hot dogs. All dog breeds are welcome to attend the event and watch the race, as long as they're on leashes and have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.