Grab your lederhosen and your favorite bierstein. It’s Oktoberfest time! What’s that you say? There are no celebrations near you? Not to worry. You can easily throw your own Oktoberfest celebration at home. Even better, make the move to Lago Mar so you have plenty of friends to invite!
It’s All About the Beer
It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without the beer, so lay in a supply. Only six breweries in Germany can produce official Oktoberfestbier. Not all of them ship worldwide, but you can purchase Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Spaten Oktoberfestbier if you want to be traditional. Imported beers can be expensive, however. Luckily, craft breweries all over Texas produce their own Oktoberfest-style beers around this time. Most breweries such as St. Arnold simply call these seasonal offerings “Oktoberfest.” You can also look for beers labeled Märzen and Hefeweizen. Don’t want to make the trip to a craft brewery? Hit the grocery store or Trader Joe’s. They usually have a great selection.
Time to Eat!
You’re going to need food to help you soak up all that beer. The Bavarian pretzel is a traditional offering. You can whip up your own or order them from Goldbelly. If you really want to lay out a spread, set up a buffet with German sausages, German potato salad, red cabbage, boiled potatoes and roasted chicken. Don’t forget the Käsespätzel, a Bavarian dish made with egg noodles, butter and cheese. Sauerkraut is de rigor, of course. For dessert, give guests a choice between strudel, gingerbread cookies or German chocolate cake (although that’s not actually a traditional German dessert).
Music to Drink By
Music is a very important part of any Oktoberfest celebration, so put together a playlist of traditional German music. Fliegerlied is popular. Polka music and the traditional oompah are great picks. The most important song is “Ein Prosit.” In Munich, it is played every 30 minutes. Guests are expected to stand up, raise their glasses and sing along. At the end, everyone clinks glasses and takes a drink.
Don’t Forget the Decorations
In Munich, breweries set up event tents. You don’t have to do that, but you should decorate your home or backyard in the traditional Bavarian colors of blue and white. Streamers, balloons and wreaths are all common decorations. If you have traditional biersteins, put them on display. If you have long tables set them out. And because it’s customary to make the party a true communal affair, set out any long tables you might have.
Games are also part of Oktoberfest celebrations. You can play any type of game you think your guests will enjoy. Beer-drinking contests are common with guests cheering on participants. You could also challenge guests to hold a full bierstein in one hand while extending their arms straight out at shoulder height. The goal is to see who can hold the glass long enough without spilling a drop.
Lederhosen Is a Tradition
Guests do not have to dress up, but it is more fun that way. Point guests in the direction of a local costume shop if they don’t own traditional garb. Shorts, a checkered shirt and suspenders also work in a pinch. Guests who don’t want to wear traditional dress can wear novelty shirts or shirts displaying their favorite beer logo.