Long Beach Oktoberfest returns for its 2nd annual celebration. The festival is a fun, local event that brings people together to celebrate and embrace German culture. The festival is modeled after the annual Oktoberfest festival in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest in Germany is a two-week-long, annual celebration of the marriage between the crown prince of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen that occurred on October 12, 1810. It’s a centuries-long tradition that has consistently brought German people together.
The Long Beach Oktoberfest festival is located outdoors at the Scottish Rite Event Center in downtown Long Beach on Elm Avenue. It’s taking place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 9 every Friday-Sunday. Fridays are reserved for those who are 21 and over, but all ages are welcome on the weekends. In fact, Sundays are designated family days! People of all ages and from a variety of cities travel to Long Beach to attend the event. The festival is a great opportunity to get in touch with your German heritage or learn about authentic German culture for the first time.
The Long Beach Oktoberfest festival features a variety of beers, eats, music, live performances, and fun games. For instance, the festival has local favorite beers as well as
authentic German beers such as Paulaner Golden Oktoberfest Bier (Munich’s biggest selling Oktoberfest beer), Hacker-Pschorr Festbier, Wood-cask Celebration Ale, Weihenstephaner and more. There is certainly a type of beer for everyone. The beer is sold, in pints, at almost every food stand at the festival, so get ready to drink tons of it! Although beer is the primary drink of choice at the festival, other soft drinks are also available for kids and anyone who doesn’t want to drink beer.
The festival also has various food options from traditional würstchen (sausages), brezeln (pretzels), and sauerkraut (raw cabbage). The foods are largely sold as part of larger plates that include a beer, but they can be bought separately as well. The large pretzel served with obatzda; a delicious Bavarian cheese spread was my favorite. The festival also has vegan options of traditional German foods for anyone who has dietary restrictions. Therefore, the event is inclusive so anyone who wants to celebrate the German tradition can attend. The lines for beer and food may be long, but they are certainly worth the wait!
Long Beach Oktoberfest also features live music and performances with a German headlining polka band, Festmeister Hans und Die Sauerkrauts. The band plays a mixture of traditional and modern music with singalongs, games and more. Many people get up and dance during the music while drinking their beer. There are various performances on stage in between the music sets that feature traditional dances such as waltzes, polkas, the German Schuhplattler, the Austrian Laendler, and the Chicken Dance.
Along with performances, the festival has various games the audience can play such as beer drinking contests, the hammer striking game, Masskrugstemmen (the stein holding contest), stein racing, and keg rolling. The winning prizes range from free beer to free Long Beach Oktoberfest 2022 t-shirts and steins. These prizes are also available for purchase as souvenirs at stands across the festival.
Dressing up for the Long Beach Oktoberfest festival is highly encouraged, but not required. Many people dress up in traditional German outfits called Tracht. Women traditionally wear dirndl (dresses) while men wear leather lederhosen (shorts) and a white shirt with brown, leather suspenders. Fun German hats are also sold at the festival for anyone who wants to join the celebration without being in a full Tracht. Although embracing the German tradition in its entirety from outfit to food is much more fun, it’s not necessary to have a great time.
The overall ambiance of the festival is welcoming, fun, and relaxed. Everyone is there to have a good time with their family and friends while celebrating German culture. Long Beach Oktoberfest is a wonderful event where people can embrace their German heritage and people from different backgrounds can go and learn about the traditional celebration while trying authentic German beer and eats. As someone who has spent time learning German and German culture in the past, I think it’s a wonderful event everyone should experience for themselves. It’s a unique celebration that temporarily transports you to Germany.
Join the fun at Long Beach Oktoberfest this weekend and try authentic German beer, eats, and enjoy live music with friends and family. Don’t forget to dress up in Tracht – it’s highly encouraged!