The reality of fall's impending hostile takeover is a rude wake-up call. But look at the bright side: Fall also means a bounty of Oktoberfests. So lace up your lederhosen, grab a beer stein and devour a heaping plateful of sauerkraut at these top fests.
Cuneo Museum and Gardens
A little more civilized than the aforementioned beer bonanzas, this fest takes place on the grounds of a 1918 Mediterranean-style mansion, which will be open for self-guided tours. The all-you-can-eat buffet includes: braised sauerbraten; veal bratwurst and pork knockwurst; German goulash soup; spaetzel with brown gravy; sauerkraut with caraway seeds; apple strudel; Bavarian cream tarts; and dark chocolate-covered fruit. Trade your four drink tickets for Spaten Lager and Haufbrau Lager on draft, Becks, Budweiser and Miller Lite bottles, a selection of wines and Berghoff root beer.
Drive to Wisconsin for an Oktoberfest? You bet. This north suburb of Milwaukee with deep German roots puts on a spectacular, three-weekend-long event that's billed as the oldest Bavarian Oktoberfest in the Midwest. Join in on the folk dancing when German "oompah" brass bands play, and be there this Sunday afternoon when the "Muenchner Kindl" (Oktoberfest queen) is crowned. Bavarian eats include spanferkel (spit-roasted pig), rollbraten (roast pork sandwich), bratwurst and strudel.
Fox Valley Oktoberfest
This annual fall festival, with German dancers and authentic food, including schnitzel, sauerkraut and frankfurters, claims to be "just like Munich--only closer." Sip a stein of Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest and Weiss beers, Dab German Pilsner and other German beers. Live entertainment includes the Johnny Wagner Band, Die Perlen Band and The Phenix Band.
Find more city and suburban Oktoberfests.
Laura Baginski is the metromix events producer.
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