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How to Celebrate Oktoberfest in New Orleans

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Oktoberfest celebrations (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Oktoberfest grew out of the wedding celebration of the Crown Prince Ludwig (known later as King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, which was held on October 12, 1810. The royals invited Munich’s citizenry, the celebration was a hit, and it has continued and grown to what it is today. Its popularity has reached other communities around the world, including New Orleans, which has a large German immigrant population. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in New Orleans this year. Time to brush up on the lyrics to Ein Prosit, a typical German drinking song!

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Oktoberfest celebrations (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Oktoberfest presented by Deutsches Haus

When: October 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 (Fridays: 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturdays: 1 to 11 p.m.)
Where: 1700 Moss St.
Admission: $8 (children 12 and under are free) + premium passes available

The Deutsches Haus is a local institution, with most New Orleanians recalling its presence on S. Galvez Street in Mid-City. After the Haus lost its home to two new hospitals, it, along with its annual Oktoberfest celebrations, were in exile for years outside the city. Last year, the Deutsches Haus held its first Oktoberfest at its new site on the banks of Bayou St. John, but the building was not quite finished. This year, it finally is.

The Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest is the most well-known local celebration of the holiday. Participate in the general, yet family-friendly, raucous made possible by Oompah music, German beer, and lederhosen. Dance to live music by the Brats, Professor Schnitzelbank, Yodel Blitz, and more. Choose from 25 different beers, including imported favorites from Warsteiner, Paulaner, Späten, Franziskaner, Hacker-Pschorr, and Köstritzer Bitburger, as well as Urban South’s Festbier, similar to a Märzenbier, brewed specially for the Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest. Get a taste of traditional Bavarian cuisine too—from giant pretzels with beer cheese, to schnitzel with mushroom sauce, roast pork loin with cherry sauce, bratwurst and weisswurst, and apple strudel.

Expect the Chicken Dance, a beer stein holding contest known as Masskrugstemmen, a historic exhibit, and a souvenir shop. Plus, catch dressed up dogs in the Schnauzer Strut, a dog parade and costume contest, on Saturday, Oct. 12 and dachshund races on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Admission is $8 (children 12 and under are free). Premium passes, which are date-specific, are also available (Fridays: $90, non-members, $85, members, and Saturdays: $125, non-members, $115, members), and include open bar and a German food buffet.

Brieux Carre (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Other Ways to Celebrate Oktoberfest 

Parleaux Beer Lab
When: September 28 (11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Where: 634 Lesseps St.
Admission: Free

Parleaux celebrates the annual release of its märzenbier, Long Way to Fall. Also on the schedule is a stein holding contest, a costume costume (with prizes), and German food ranging from pretzels to bratwurst.

Bratz Y’all
When: September 28 from 11:00 a.m. to midnight and September 29 from to 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: 617 Piety St. Suite B
Admission: Free

Bratz Y’all, a local German restaurant that began life as a festival pop-up, hosts Oktoberfest festivities September 28 and 29. Enjoy live music, food and drink specials, costumes, and games outside in the beer garden.

Bratz Y’all (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Brieux Carré Oktoberfest
When: September 28 and 29 (11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Where: 2115 Decatur St.
Admission: Free

Brieux Carré celebrates Oktoberfest in September with the release of its Märza, Märza, Märza beer, a Märzen lager, stein-hoisting competitions, and Oompah music.

Gretna Oktoberfest
When: October 12 (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Where: 519 Huey P. Long Ave.
Admission: Free

The German-American Cultural Center hosts Oktoberfest in historic downtown Old Gretna, which was settled by German immigrants. The daytime festival features live music, beer, and brats.

Emily Ramírez Hernández is the child of New Orleans natives whose families have been in the city for generations. Emily's earliest memories of New Orleans include joyful car rides over bumpy streets, eating dripping roast beef po-boys at Domilise's, and catching bouncy balls during Mardi Gras parades with cousins. An urban planner by day and freelance writer by night, when she is off the clock she enjoys biking around town, belly dancing, and catching nerdlesque shows.

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