You have to wonder, back in 1810, when then Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Teresa, if they thought we'd still be celebrating 200 years later. Originally, the event involved horse racing and a huge feast, with beer of course. The next year, the decision was to repeat this event. An Agricultural fair was added to the event too. Rides appeared eight years later and in 1819, the citizens of Munich took over the planning of the event. That's when it became a much longer festival.
In 1896, the small beer stands gave way to the now familiar beer tents. Horse racing, once the most popular event ended in 1960, except for at the 2010 Fest, celebrating 200 years. Today, the event is international and celebrated throughout the world.
Locally, nearly everyone that serves beer celebrates Oktoberfest, some starting early, others waiting until October. Usually, ground zero for local events is the first two weekends of October. I will keep an updated list of events here for your planning pleasure!
Saturday September 15
Noon Intuition Ale Works 7th Annual Oktoberfest, as in years past, tickets are $10 and include entrance, a 20-ounce commemorative mug, a pretzel ticket and lots of good German polka music. There will be games like stein holding and wear your German best.
Tuesday September 18
6 p.m. Oktoberfest Tapping at Seven Bridges Grille and Brewery. Officially tapping their Oktoberfest beer, $3 Fest Beers and live music with Chilly Rhino. Also 15 percent of all sales donated to the Pit Sisters.
Thursday September 20
6 p.m. Brewery Spotlight: Oktoberfest Edition at Bearded Buffalo Brewing, featuring Atlantic Beach Brewing.
Saturday September 22
11 a.m. 3rd Annual Oktoberfest at Wicked Barley Brewing Company. Wear your Lederhosen and Dirndls. A variety of beer games, special tap list and live music all day. There will also be Brewery tours and a commemorative mug for sale. Complimentary Valet Parking 11 a.m. to Midnight.
Noon ABBC Oktoberfest Celebration at Atlantic Beach Brewing Company. Games, costume contest and brews, plus Chef Sarah of Hottie Dawgs will be slinging some German dog favorites.
Weekends starting September 22
Saturday September 22 - October 6
All Day European Street locations are planning something different this year. They will have special menu items, contests and special surprises On September 22, 5 pm Stein Hoisting Competition's kick off at the Jax Beach location. Riverside location will be held September 29 at 5 pm. Saturday October 6 at San Marco at 3 pm and at the Beach and University location at 5 pm
Saturday September 22 - September 28
Bog Brewing Company is planning a week long celebration, Bogtoberfest. It kicks off Saturday with a German style BBQ, beer releases- Oktoberfest and Berliner Weiss, a special commemorative 1 Liter mugs (limited edition) available for sale and specials all week.
Friday September 28
6 pm Croctoberfest at St Augustine Alligator Farm This brand new event offers 5 ounce beer samples, food samples and live music at the Alligator Farm.
Saturday September 29
11 am Amelia Tavern Oktoberfest Amelia Tavern and the award winning Amelia Island Brewing company will celebrate their 2nd Oktoberfest. Expect Polka, Beer, Games, Prizes and food!
11 am Bottlenose Brewing Oktoberfest is an all day affair featuring Traditional and Non-traditional games, a special German menu featuring Oktoberfest wings, pretzels and Brats and more. Special 20 ounce 'Das Boots' available for purchase and discounted fills.
Friday October 5
12 pm 2018 Barns and Brews Oktoberfest at Crooked Rooster Brewing in Macclenny is a family friendly event with good brews, good music and good food.
Saturday October 6
3 pm Octoberfest on Main Street hosted by a variety of businesses on Main Street and Hyperion Brewing company. If you went last year, expect the same fun festival atmosphere. Street Party, Live Music, Food and Drink Vendors.
Thursday October 11
Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at Hyperion Brewing Company, Chef Sarah has whipped up an Oktoberfest menu that includes the best of German cuisine
Saturday October 13
Noon 2018 Beaches Oktoberfest at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach. This 2 day event matches beer, live music and food. Line up details coming soon.
5 pm Veterans United Craft Brewery Oktoberfest 5K Registration included a Veterans Brew and pint glass.