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Prost, Y'all! Seven Oktoberfest in the South

Best known for having a vibrant Latino community and as the birthplace of Tex-Mex, many are surprised to learn that San Antonio, Texas, also has a strong German influence, as evident with the King William District, an area of the city settled by Germans in the 1800s.

German culture is on full display throughout San Antonio with various Oktoberfest celebrations like the one hosted by Beethoven Männerchor, one of Texas' oldest German singing societies. On Oct. 6 - 7 and 13 -14, festivities include keg tapping, stein hoisting, robust singing and more.

Six Flags Oktoberfest, photo courtesy of Six Flags Fiesta

The Bier Garten Riverwalk (through Oct. 29) features bratwurst, currywurst, pretzels, beer, stein-hoisting contests, oompah music, singalongs, chicken dancing and giveaways. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Six Flags Fiesta every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 29 with traditional foods, including bratwurst, potato pancakes and seasonal beers.

For beer lovers, the San Antonio Beer Festival returns Oct. 21 with more than 400 premium and craft beers brewed by more than 100 international breweries. The event also has games, food trucks, local vendors and more.

Round out the San Antonio experience with a visit to the Guenther House. Built in 1860 for German settler and founder of Pioneer Flour Mills Carl Himar Guenter, it is now a brunch spot sitting along the banks of the river. The restaurant has a museum and a store carrying items like the restaurant's famed biscuit mix.

Don't overlook nearby celebrations like Boerne Barktoberfest, Oct. 21, the 148th Oktoberfest in Spring Hill, Oct. 22, and Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Nov. 3 - 12.

Starting as early as mid-September, running through October, with some even trickling into November, towns and cities throughout the South throw a version, small or large, of the celebration that originated in the 1800s Munich, Germany.

Hot Springs, Ark.

Experience a little bit of Germany in Spa City During Spa City Oktoberfest, Oct. 7. Dress in your best Drindl or Lederhosen, and enjoy craft beer, live music and more.

Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Ober Gatlinburg hosts a Fall Festival, Sept. 29 - Oct. 29, and amongst the hay mountain and pumpkin spice fudge are German-inspired bites like Ober Dunkle Brats and Preztels with Yee-Haw Dunkel Beer Cheese. Oh, and don't forget about the beers that include Hofbrau and Spaten, among others.

Through Oct. 31, the Bear-Varian Fall Festival at Anakeesta entices you with its views of Gatlinburg and the Smokies and its food lineup that ranges from Pork Schnitzel with Brussels and smashed potatoes at Cliff Top Restaurant to German Chocolate Cake Funnel Fries at the Snack Shack.

Cider and beer lovers can purchase an add-on beer pass for $21.99 in addition to general admission tickets. Each pass allows you to savor six 8-ounce pours of beer or cider from local and regional breweries.

Helen Oktoberfest 2021, photo personal collection

Helen, Ga.

Considered the longest-running of its kind in the country, Helen Oktoberfest, through Oct. 29, features plenty of jovialität and fröhlichkeit at Helen Festhalle with weeks of entertainment, dancing, food, and, of course, beer and wine. For those 21 years old and older, check out the Oktoberfest Tapping of the Keg at various biergartens, restaurants and taverns.

Kissimmee, Fla.

Krush Brau Park is home to Oktoberfest through Oct. 22. The event keeps you on your feet with traditional oompah bands and local performances, family-friendly activities, German items available for purchase, and various palate-pleasing German delicacies.

Walhalla, S.C.

Get your phone out to record your family, friends or yourself doing the "chicken dance" at Walhalla Oktoberfest, Oct. 20-22. The three-day event combines a German celebration and fall festival with its food, beer tent and more, including carnival rides and arts & crafts vendors.

Hickory, N.C.

The city's three-day Oktoberfest, Oct. 13- 15, is filled with festivities, such as three stages of live entertainment and a dedicated Kidsfest with a petting zoo, inflatables and more. There are also crafters to browse and ample food (over 20 vendors) to enjoy.


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