Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest Across Texas
Hoist steins and sausages, from Addison to Austin.
After a brutally hot summer, fall is finally in our view, and with it comes the promise of cooler temperatures, the reemergence of patio season and, crucially, a chance to hoist beer steins at Oktoberfest celebrations all across the state.
Texas takes Oktoberfest seriously, which is no surprise considering that millions of Texans have German roots thanks to a major migration wave in the 19th century. That’s given us an affinity for beer, kolaches, and sausages, plus a bevy of Oktoberfests to choose from each September. Below are eight of the best celebrations in Texas, including one with an actual Bavarian prince. The lederhosen is optional, but the good times are assured.
September 15 - 18
Debuting in 1987, Addison Oktoberfest is one of the state’s biggest and most authentic celebrations, with 50,000 people expected to attend this year. Open-air tents and beer gardens are spread throughout the Addison Circle Park festival grounds, so you can hunker down at a communal table or go exploring. Either way, you’re always within reach of cold beers and food vendors hawking brats, sausages, strudel, and pretzels. Polka bands provide a soundtrack throughout the day, and when your competitive edge needs honing, you can watch the Dachshund Dash—which, yes, is a bunch of little dogs racing.
September 22 - 24
This three-day celebration of German culture brings food, beer, and music to Trinity Park, complete with beer tents, a midway, and a vendor-lined marketplace. Tip back German beers and get your fill of bratwurst, schnitzel, potato pancakes, turkey legs, pork chops, and Jaeger fries. After all that, you might need some exercise, so test yourself with feats of athleticism, like stein hoisting (competitors hold full beer steins straight out in front of them), stein carrying, and beer barrel rolling. There’s also a 5K run, should you have any energy left in the tank. And if you’re a Dachshund, don’t worry, there’s a race for you, too.
September 23 - 24
This massive West Dallas beer garden has green turf, graffitied walls, and container ship bars. On this particular weekend, they also have bratwursts and other German specialties, plus Shiner Oktoberfest beer in commemorative steins. Listen to music, hoist those steins, and dress the part to partake in the lederhosen contest.
September 23 - 25
During Oktoberfest, Downtown McKinney transforms into a 14-block beer garden. Sample the beer lineup, which includes Munich-based Hofbrau Marzen and Dunkel, as well as local favorite, Tupps, who’s pouring a Hefeweizen and Oktoberfest. Snack on sausages, schnitzel, strudel, funnel cakes, and roasted almonds, then participate in a series of events, from keg tapping and stein holding to beard and mustache contests. You can also sign up for Meet the Brewmaster classes to learn all about beer making from the experts at Tupps.
September 23 - 25 (and additional dates)
Want to meet the Prince of Bavaria? Head to Koko’s in Austin, where Konstantin Prinz von Bayern will kick off the festivities that his fifth great grandfather, King Ludwig, started in 1810 by tapping a keg on stage on Saturday the 24th. That photo will look great next to a tableful of sausages, schnitzel, and pretzels. Koko’s is keeping the party going, with Oktoberfest events taking place all month long, each featuring special house-brewed beers, live bands, games, food specials, and more. So, if you can’t make the opening festivities, you’ve got three more chances: September 30 - October 2, October 21 - 23, and October 28-30.
Don your best dirndl or lederhosen and join the party in Katy—the Houston suburb is hosting a full day of food, drinks, and entertainment at the Typhoon Texas waterpark. Traditional German foods and beers are served side-by-side with barbecue and Texas brews, so you can mix and match throughout the day. There will be music, dancing, and contests like stein carrying and stein stacking, so you can practice your fine motor skills between drinks.
September 30 - October 2
This year, Fredericksburg will host its 42nd Oktoberfest, so it’s safe to assume they know what they’re doing. Make your way through more than 60 food and beverage choices, from German beers, brats, sauerkraut, and pretzels, to wood-fired pizzas and barbecue sandwiches. Look up every once in a while, because across five entertainment stages, you’ll see a continual rotation of polka music, yodeling contests, and other diversions.
October 14 - 16
Now in its 10th year, this Oktoberfest celebration is once again popping up in Houston’s Heights neighborhood. You get three days to wander through massive tents and make friends at communal tables, listen to live German music, drink a dozen different German beers, and eat wursts, roasted turkey legs, and German chocolate cake.