Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair, held annually in Munich, Germany. Not one to shy away from an excuse to eat and drink, the United States has adopted the festival, which normally runs for 16 days abroad. Missouri has a long and rich German history, therefore it’s only natural that various towns across the state have hopped on board the Oktoberfest bandwagon for smaller events.
No matter where the Oktoberfest is held, at the heart of each celebration is one thing most fair-goers can agree on—beer. Great food also is at the heart of every beer festival, so let’s take a look at three top Oktoberfests across the state in which brewskies and German cuisine is served faster than you can say Willkomme.
Head out West to Springfield, Mo. on Oct. 5 and you will find OktoberFest Village in conjunction with Taste of Springfield. Gates open at 11 a.m., and the tapping of the ceremonial keg takes place at 11:15 a.m.
Laura Head is with English Management, the group that is putting on Oktoberfest Village in downtown Springfield.
“A lot of our vendor booths are new this year. And we do have some new beers from a local brewery, Mother’s Brewery, and this will be the first time that they are actually introduced to the market,” Head says. “We are pretty excited to have the exclusive launch for a few of those beers that will only be available this time of year at the event.”
Sampling beers include Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Marshall Oktoberfest and Redd’s Strawberry Ale. For a full list of beverages on tap, visit oktoberfestvillage.com. And, to complement the beer festival is Taste of Springfield, in which more than 25 local restaurants will be on hand. Cooking demonstrations and specialty vendor booths are the highlight of the culinary feast presented by Springfield Grocer Company. For a full vendor list, visit the vendors page.
Next we travel to Hermann, Mo., site of arguably the biggest Oktoberfest in the state. The month-long celebration is held the first four weekends of October and is complete with oom-pah bands and brats on the grill. Hermann has the best of both worlds—not only is the city rooted deep in German heritage, but it’s a haven for wine lovers. Highlights include a German food stand, a German Bier Garten and a Lion’s Club Kettle Corn stand complete with brats, burgers, hot dogs and soda. For a complete event listing, visit their website here.
Make your last Oktoberfest one count, as we travel to the eastern part of Missouri and the Soulard Oktoberfest. Perhaps the fastest-growing Oktoberfest in the state, Soulard’s Oktoberfest is Oct. 11 through the 13. While general admission is welcome, festival-goers can purchase VIP privileges such as a Soulard Oktoberfest mug, special food and VIP beer tastings at most booths. Activities include the Strongest Barmaid Relay, a Brat Eating Contest and Masskrugstemmen, which is a stamina challenge to see who can hold a one-liter beer stein the longest. For more information on Soulard Oktoberfest, visit their website here.
– See more at: http://www.missouri.com/articles/386-food-beverages-usher-in-missouri-oktoberfests#sthash.hyc4NB6o.dpuf