The first Oktoberfest was held 1810 as public celebration for a royal Bavarian wedding. In the ensuing two hundred years it has morphed into what’s been called the largest secular celebration on Earth. Its growing popularity has been fueled by pork, potato pancakes, the chicken dance, and lots of beer. As with other holidays, we Bay area residents put our own spin on the festivities. Here are six of the best local options:

Oktoberfest by the Bay 
The area’s largest and most traditional Oktoberfest runs this Friday through Sunday. It boasts two alternating oompah bands, Bavarian folk dancers, sausages and related pork products, and an ocean of crisp Spaten. Friday and Saturday night sessions are 21 and older. If you want a guaranteed place to sit, easy access to food, a bar, and bathrooms, use the web site to order VIP tickets.

Oaktoberfest 
Oakland’s 5th annual festival is held in the Dimond District which was a turn of the century oasis of German beer gardens and vacation resorts. Although Oakland’s free street fest has German beer, food and entertainment, its broad offerings reflect the city’s diversity. Most of the beers are from local craft brewers, local food vendors sell a variety of fare, and the music runs the gamut from Bavarian to world beat. Avoid the lines by using the website to purchase drink ticket packages….

To read more about where to throw back a few for Oktoberfest, click here!

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