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How to Host the Ultimate Oktoberfest Party

After Labor Day, it might seem like a long wait until the next holiday. Who wants to wait until Halloween to host their next bash? The good news: You don't have to! Mid-September to early...

After Labor Day, it might seem like a long wait until the next holiday. Who wants to wait until Halloween to host their next bash? The good news: You don't have to! Mid-September to early October is the perfect time to celebrate Oktoberfest, the German festival of good times, beer, and tasty German food. And let's be honest, who wouldn't want to celebrate that?

What Is Oktoberfest?

Before you dive into planning your Oktoberfest party, it's worth taking a moment to understand the history and significance of this iconic festival. Oktoberfest has been a German tradition since 1810, starting as a celebration of the marriage of Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. It was such a success that it became an annual tradition, filled with days of beer, food, and entertainment. While Oktoberfest has evolved over the years and now starts in September, the spirit of celebration and camaraderie remains the same.

How to Celebrate Oktoberfest at Home

Now that you know the background, it's time to throw an unforgettable Oktoberfest party in your own backyard. Here are some Oktoberfest party ideas that will ensure a memorable and authentic experience:

Bring on the Food

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No Oktoberfest celebration is complete without delicious German food. From soft pretzels to bratwursts and sauerkraut, there are plenty of traditional dishes to choose from when planning your menu. Homemade pretzels with mustard pretzel dip, brats with mustard and currywurst, and German desserts like apfelkuchen or strudel are sure to impress your guests. Don't be afraid to get creative and explore the rich flavors of German cuisine.

Pour Some Drinks

People Clinking Mass Beer Glasses At Oktoberfest In Munich Image credit: golero/Getty Images

Oktoberfest is known for its beer, so make sure you have a cooler or fridge stocked with plenty of German brews. Look for authentic Oktoberfest beers like Hacker Pschorr, Hoffbrau, and Lowenbrau, or try some American craft beers inspired by the classic Oktoberfest brews. If beer isn't your thing, explore German wines, especially Rieslings and Gewurztraminers, or try out some traditional German liqueurs like schnapps.

Create Your Own Beer Garden

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To truly capture the German beer garden atmosphere, transform your backyard into a cozy and relaxed space. Set up wooden tables for that authentic beer garden feel. Encourage guests to bring their own steins for drinks, or provide basic steins as party favors. Incorporate Bavaria's blue and white colors in your decorations, such as plates, napkins, and tablecloths. A Biergarten sign will add the perfect touch to the ambiance.

Fun and Games

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Keep your guests entertained with some fun Oktoberfest-themed activities. Create a playlist featuring a mix of upbeat music, including a few German tunes and the classic drinking song "Ein Prosit." Organize a game of hammerschlagen, where players try to hammer a nail into a stump in the fewest whacks. For card game enthusiasts, try playing sheepshead, derived from Bavaria's national card game, Schafkopf. These activities will keep the festive spirit alive throughout the party.

Prost!

With these Oktoberfest party ideas, mouth-watering dishes, and a wide selection of drinks, you're now ready to host the ultimate backyard bash. So raise a glass, say "prost!" (German for "cheers!"), and enjoy the festivities as you indulge in schnitzel and celebrate the spirit of Oktoberfest.

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