As September wraps up, that can only mean one thing, it's Oktoberfest time. Grab your lederhosen and your mug-shaped hat and prepare to stuff your face with beer, bratwurst and pretzels. Here's our list of the Oktoberfest activities going around in Metro Phoenix.
Fountain Hills Oktoberfest When: September 26-27 (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Where: Fountain Park, Fountain Hills How Much: $5 but kids and people in dirndl and lederhosen are free The Fountain Hills Oktoberfest boasts enough pretzels, brats, beer, and other German cuisine to make even the most diehard German fanatic happy. While some Oktoberfests try to draw the 21 and up crowd, this offering provides something for everyone in the family. Nonstop live entertainment, a beer stein-holding competition, a wide variety of German foods, kid-friendly bounce houses and much more means that no one in your family will be bored at this event. Head to the website to learn more about the event.
East Valley House of Brews Oktoberfest When: September 27 (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Where: House of Brews, Gilbert How Much: $5 (includes 5 tickets) For the first time ever, East Valley House of Brews is hosting their own version of Oktoberfest. It'll have live music, a cigar booth, a German buffet in the VIP section, a dunk tank and brews from several local brewers. Some of the Valley's top food trucks and beer trucks will also be present to serve you the finest food and drink on four wheels. Don't bring the family on your way to this one though, it's 21 and over only. For more info, check the House of Brews Facebook page or call 480-426-9787.
Phoenix Oktoberfest When: October 4 (12 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Where: Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix How Much: $5 The Oktoberfest put on by the Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures is sure to be one of the most authentic German festival experiences you can have this fall. It might not be the beer and debauchery you expect from an "Oktoberfest," but if you're looking for a legitimate cultural experience, this is almost definitely your best bet for authentic German food, beer and music. Their website wasn't working when we tried it, but you can check their Facebook page as well for info.
SanTan Oktoberfest When: October 4 (3 p.m. to 11 p.m.) Where: AJ Chandler Park, Chandler How much: $10 at Bashas, $12 online or at SanTan Brewing, $15 at the gate SanTan Oktoberfest has arguably the best music lineup of any Oktoberfest this year, with reggae band Iration and ska legends Reel Big Fish headlining the event, it's sure to be one of the most entertaining performances you'll see. There'll be other events such as a wiener dog race and a brat-eating contest as well, and, of course, plenty of beer from SanTan Brewing Company and food to go around for all. Check out their website and Facebook page for more details
WOBtoberfest When: October 4 Where: World of Beer, Tempe How Much: Free For those who want World of Beer's take on Oktoberfest, mark October 4 down on your calendars. The yearly event brings in some extra German beers and pumpkin-flavored ales along with brats and lederhosen to make it a full-blown celebration, but when you get right down to it, do you really need another reason to drink a bunch of beer in Tempe? Head to the WOBtoberfest 2014 page to get more details about the event.
Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake When: October 10-12 Where: Tempe Beach Park How Much: Free Not only is Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake one of the biggest free festivals in all of Arizona, but it's also among the longest running Oktoberfests in the state. With eight beer gardens and tents selling beer from all over the world (three of which happen to be run by Four Peaks), it's pretty much guaranteed you'll find a brew or two that you love. If you're not drinking beer, there's also wine, liquor and food available, plus a wide variety of events, including a lederhosen run and dachshund races. For more info, visit their website. www.tempeoktoberfest.com
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Octoberfest at Salt River Fields When: October 11 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) Where: Salt River Fields How Much: $10 for General Admission, $60 for VIP One of the biggest German beer celebrations in the Valley, Octoberfest at Salt River Fields is back for its fourth year. With activities including cornhole, dodgeball and a Crossfit competition, there's a wide range of things to keep even those who don't drink beer busy for the day. Aside from the live music and vendors, there will also be a kids area full of bounce houses and games to entertain the entire family. Check out the Salt River Fields website for more information.
Haus Murphys Oktoberfest When: October 10-11 and 17-18 Where: Haus Murphy's, Glendale How Much: Free Who would've thought that one of Glendale's top German restaurants is hosting Oktoberfest events two weekends in a row? Aside from the menu full of pretzels, brats, beer, and much more, there will be a stein-holding contest, an Alpenhorn blowing contest, and a battle of the accordions, because what German weekend isn't complete without dueling accordions? Head to the Haus Murphy's events page for more info.