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Prost! Enjoy Oktoberfests around the world. Photo: iStock

Fall has officially arrived, ushering in a host of festive, crisp-weather-fun. Whether you’re looking for great beer or simply want to get together with friends, Oktoberfest celebrations offer the perfect fix.

Nowhere is the spirit more apparent than in Munich, Germany, when millions attend the city’s fabled, 16-day bash, loading up on schweinebraten, kraut and potato pancakes, all washed down with Hofbräu and Hacker-Pschorr. Now in its 180th year, the event starts on September 21 and features over a dozen tents, dedicated to everything from pig’s knuckles to oxen.

Chicago is not immune to Oktoberfest mayhem. Not to be missed is Oktoberfest Chicago, held at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church at Southport and Lincoln Avenues, September 27-29. Brats and beer garden aside, it also sports craft beers and live oompah music.

In Dublin, food and drinks flow freely at George’s Dock in the IFSC Docklands. Load up on everything from brats and German Schmalzkuchen to old-world candies, pairing them with just-tapped Erdinger “Fischer’s Hell” and “Weizenbier.” Bavarian games and contests further fuel the fun, starting September 19.

It may come as a surprise, but the country’s largest Oktoberfest celebration takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Held on six blocks of Fifth Street, from Vine Street to Sentinel in Downtown Cincinnati, it features live German music and more than 30 food vendors serving upwards of 200 dishes. What’s more, it’s known to dispense more than 1,300 barrels of beer (1.6 million ounces) annually, consumption that tops the capacity of a small microbrewery.

Fredericksburg, Texas—situated in Texas Hill Country—was founded in 1846 by the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. Now in its 30th year, the town’s annual Oktoberfest, held October 1-3, caters to all ages with live old and new-school Bavarian music, a beer hall and a wine-tasting tent.

Owing its celebratory spirit to the waves of German immigrants, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is not to be overlooked this time of year. Its bash, held on along Lake Michigan on Fridays and Saturdays in September, includes brass bands and traditional German dance.

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Jennifer Olvera

Jennifer Olvera

Jennifer Olvera is a culinary travel writer, recipe developer and author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Chicago. Find her on Twitter at @olverajennifer.
Jennifer Olvera

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