Did you know the first Oktoberfest was basically a wedding reception for Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen? The royal event took place on October 18, 1810, and featured 40,000 attendees, a grueling 30-horse race, a student choir, and of course, beer tasting.
Today, Oktoberfest has spread from the Theresienwiese (Theresa's Meadow) in Munich to countries all over the world, including Brazil, Australia and China. But don't worry, you don't have to be an international traveler to participate in the world's largest Volksfest (beer festival). Oktoberfest is held right here in Dallas so you can celebrate das bier (beer) and Gemütlichkeit (cheerfulness).
After being cancelled last year, Oktoberfest Dallas is back, bringing beer, brats and beats to Flag Pole Hill on Saturday, Oct. 2. Located just north of White Rock Lake, the annual beer fest will feature live music from Son Volt, Vandoliers and Taylor Dunn.
If music isn't your thing, grab a buddy and your bean bags to compete against the toughest local amateurs in the King of the Hill Cornhole Tournament. Oh, there's also beer and food, too. Oktoberfest Dallas is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults before 4 p.m. and $20 after 4 p.m. Kids (4-12) are $10 all day and children under 4 are free.
Breweries celebrating Oktoberfest
If you don't want to wait until Oct. 2 to indulge in Bavarian brews, I have good news for you. Oktoberfest festivities around the world run from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3 this year, so you don't have to wait to enjoy a few tasty beverages at some of the best local breweries around.
Home to the city's first Growler filling station, Craft and Growler proudly serves house-crafted brews like the Star of Texas Hefeweizen and the Exposition Porter. Bar hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 9 p.m.
This neighborhood brewery partners with local nonprofits to support their missions so you don't have to feel guilty when you order an extra Black Lager Schwarzbier. The taproom is open Wednesday through Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
While this brewery might be small, there's nothing tiny about their taste. Find out for yourself with the Texikaner Black Lager, a dark brew with German and Mexican influences. The downtown taproom is open Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 9 p.m.
Blending technology and innovation, Steam Theory brings beer perfection to life with the Frau Blucher Kolsch and Spitzer Helm Berliner Weisse. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight.
Restaurants celebrating Oktoberfest
While many consider the brewing of beer to be one of the most important achievements in the history of mankind, man cannot live on beer alone. That's why you need to know about these great German restaurants, too.
This East Dallas beer & brat town hall features a variety of wurst (sausage) sandwiches and other Bavarian treats that will make you miss the old country - even if your ancestors never came from there. The kitchen is open Tuesday through Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
A Texas institution since 1961, Kuby's is open for breakfast and lunch, priding itself on its award-winning variety of wursts, schnitzels (breaded & fried) and sauerkraut. Restaurant hours are Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
While Henk's features a delicious variety of cakes and breads from all over Europe, their kassler (smoked pork loin) and rouladen (braised beef roll) are the reason to walk through the door. Henk's is open Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.