Oktoberfest (credit: SVEN HOPPE/AFP/Getty Images)
What does the San Francisco Bay Area love to do more than anything? Celebrate. Party. Drink. So as we edge toward the end of September, what better way to celebrate than Oktoberfest? The German festival based in Munich is celebrated worldwide, with food and beer at the forefront, as well as traditional music and dancing. While the official Munich festival runs from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 this year, we take a look at some of the best one-day and weekend long celebrations around the Bay Area, stretching from Northern Marin across to Oakland, through San Francisco all the way down to Redwood City.
1110 Highland Drive
Novato, CA 94948
Date: Saturday, Oct. 10www.novatosunriserotary.myevent.com
Novato’s Oktoberfest brings traditional festival food and dancing to the North Bay on Oct. 10. Although only a few years old, the evening and nighttime festival draws a large crowd with music by Tony Raymann & his Edelweiss OOMPAH Band, dinner including chicken, brats, red cabbage and strudel and dancing and polka lessons. Don’t forget there prizes available — even for the best Chicken Dance. The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and for only $45, it is the best bargain in town.
Redwood City, CA 94063
Dates: Sunday, Sept. 18 to Tuesday, Sept. 20www.redwoodcity.org
In downtown Redwood City, Oktoberfest celebration runs all weekend long, from Sept. 18 to 20. The Courthouse Square is decked out in all traditional décor with over 1,100 feet of family-style seating, surrounded by music and dancing, and of course, food and beer. Audience participation is welcome with prizes given for contests in yodeling and stein holding. Advance entry tickets are available and advised, considering there are limited tickets on the day to the usually sold out event.
203 Marin Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Date: Monday, Sept. 26
Located off Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley, the Tam Valley Oktoberfest is geared toward family fun, with free carnival rides for the kids, as well as the traditional beer and food for the grown-ups. Traditional German bands from San Francisco are featured, as well as dancers from the Golden Gate Bavarian Club. The one-day festivities are on Sept. 26 from 3 – 9 p.m. at the Tam Valley Community Center.
MacArthur Blvd. at Fruitvale Ave.
Oakland, CA 94602
Date: Saturday, Oct. 4www.oaktoberfest.org
In Oakland’s Dimond District, Oaktoberfest features one of the largest varieties of Bay Area microbrews gathered in one place. With traditional food offered, Oaktoberfest also brings their East Bay traditions to the party with several DJs spinning everything from house to reggae, mixed with all styles of dance. Taking place Saturday, Oct. 4 at the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and Fruitvale Ave., Oaktoberfest boasts family fun entertainment for the entire community.
San Francisco, CA
Dates: Sunday, Sept. 25 – Tuesday, Sept. 27www.oktoberfestbythebay.com
One of, if not the largest Oktoberfest celebration in all the Bay Area is Oktoberfest By The Bay, directly on the water at Pier 48 in San Francisco. Deep in traditional food and drink, and festivities, 2015 marks the 126th anniversary of German Day in San Francisco, sponsored by the United German American Society, whose mission has been to celebrate the German culture in America. Running Sept. 25 – 27, make sure to get tickets early as this is always a sell-out event.
Andrew Wilson started a music webzine to photograph and write about his favorite artists. He quickly notoriety as both a writer and photographer, and has since been published to a variety of national news sites. Andrew resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is pursuing a degree in landscape photography.