Oktoberfest parties have quickly become as much a part of American culture as they are German culture. Every year thousands of Oktoberfest festivals all over the world join in on the celebration of this infamous tradition with delectable food, toe-tapping music, and hearty German beer. Despite the name, Oktoberfest festivals actually begin in the last week of September. In the 1800’s they moved the festivals back to allow for better weather conditions since September nights were much warmer in Germany. Lucky for you, we have compiled all of the basics you need to know in order to throw a “wunderbar” Oktoberfest party of your own in no time!
Oktoberfest Party Location
The most common location to host Oktoberfest festivals is outside, underneath large tents with long tables underneath. This was how it was originally done in Germany and how it is still being conducted today. However, it is difficult to predict the weather so it is oftentimes much more convenient to host your Oktoberfest party at a local venue. This will ensure that your hard work and preparation won’t all be ruined by some bad weather!
Oktoberfest Party Decorations
When decorating the party area, you should be sure to incorporate lots of red, gold and black, which are the colors of the German flag. For an inexpensive touch that is sure to have a dramatic affect, hang a bouquet of flowers from the center of the ceiling with streamers radiating out from underneath it towards the edges of the room. Adorn the walls with multiple posters of Germany, German flags, different types of sausage and brats, and the German staple— beer. Also place steins filled with wheat or fresh autumn flowers on top of the tables for creative centerpieces. To dive even further into the true Oktoberfest spirit, you can sport a nice pair of lederhosen or some suspenders!
Oktoberfest Party Food
What better way to celebrate German heritage and culture than with some delicious German food! You will want to incorporate many of the tasty and filling culinary delights that Germany is well known for into your party menu. This includes classics such as sauerkraut, bratwurst, pretzels, and schnitzel of all variations! Some popular side dishes to prepare include potato dumplings, cheese spaetzle noodles casserole, and potato pancakes. As if that won’t be filling enough, you can’t forget some delectable German desserts like apple strudel and German chocolate cake. Let’s just hope that nobody at your Oktoberfest party is trying to count their calories! There are plenty of German recipes found online so you are sure to find the perfect German treat for your Oktoberfest party! Of course, there is always the option of hiring a caterer to help simplify your party preparation as well!
Oktoberfest Party Activities
If you want to spice things up at your Oktoberfest party, consider planning out some amusing activities for the guests to partake in. A very popular game that is played at most Oktoberfest festivals is stein races. This involves filling up beer steins to the brim with beer or water and then having teams race to a specified distance. Whoever has the most liquid left in their stein at the end wins. If you want to laugh your “arsches” off consider having a yodeling competition. You can judge the contestants in a variety of different areas such as best yodel, loudest yodel, funniest yodel or longest yodel. Some other Oktoberfest games that are especially great for young kids including:
- Pass The Pumpkin: Similar to the game hot potato except you pass around a pumpkin and listen to German music while playing
- Freeze Dance: Kids dance around while listening to German music, whenever the music stops they have to stop as well, the last kid to stop dancing is out
- Pumpkin Penny Toss: Have kids try to toss pennies into a hollowed out pumpkin from a specified distance, whoever makes the most pennies in the pumpkin wins
For the duration of the party you can play some German music such as the polka or the ever-popular chicken dance!
Oktoberfest Party Beer
Let’s be realistic. A key component of the entire Oktoberfest experience is the beer. That being said, you will want to be sure to have plenty of good beer on hand. It is best to include at least one keg of decent German beer, such as Ayinger or Bitburger. You can even set up a beer tasting table for your guests to try out some of the different brews that Germany has to offer. If your Oktoberfest party is indoors, put a tarp or towel underneath the keg to avoid damaging the floor or people slipping around it.
If you would like help while planning your “wunderbar” Oktoberfest party browse through Snappening’s convenient lists of event planners orevent venues! If you have exciting Oktoberfest stories or ideas post them on our Facebook or Twitter! For more party ideas and inspiration check out our boards on Pinterest!