The history of the original Oktoberfest dates back to early 19th century Munich, Germany, as a spectacular royal event. As the years progressed, the annual tradition spread across Europe and the rest of the globe, eventually making its way to the United States. Today, people dress up in authentic 19th century German attire and enjoy traditional German fair and European beer at Oktoberfest celebrations around the world.
Throughout New Jersey, you can find numerous similar celebrations in the coming weeks, as the state gears up for the ensuing cooler seasons. Below are 10 of the best New Jersey Oktoberfest events to attend as you enjoy the final warm days of 2017.
Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
Where: 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood
When: September 29 – October 1, October 6 – 8
Details: The Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest has been a major event in Wildwood for years. It offers massive rides, engaging games, a comprehensive “biergarten,” tons of traditional German and American food, and an array of activities for young kids, including pumpkin decorating. The event also features live music by the JJ Rupp Band, Radio Neon, Stellar Mojo, and the Benderz.
More info: Visit www.moreyspiers.com/play/oktoberfest/about or call 609-522-3900.
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten
Where: 527 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park
When: September 29 – October 22
Details: The annual Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten strives to present the most authentic Oktoberfest possible in the States. This nearly month-long event features beer from several official Oktoberfest breweries as well as games dating back to the early 19th century (with prizes), imported Bavarian pretzels and German fair, delicious pig roasts, plus Czech folk music and Polka bands from around the world.
More info: Visit the website or call 732-997-8767.
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 51 Bay Avenue, Highlands
When: October 7
Details: The lively spirit of Highlands’ Oktoberfest models itself on the traditional Oktoberfest of Munich. Come out to Veterans Memorial Park, right alongside the water, for seven straight hours immersed in traditional festivities, with great food, tons of beer, live music, nonstop dancing, fun activities and various vendors. The festival also features an amusing Stein Holding Contest as well as a costume contest.
More info: Visit www.highlandsnj.com/Special_Events/Oktoberfest/Oktoberfest-Page.shtml or call 732-291-4713.
Historic Smithville Oktoberfest
Where: 1 North New York Road, Galloway
When: October 7 – 8
Details: Historic Smithville hosts a number of events throughout the year, including its distinguished annual Oktoberfest. The festival features an international food court, more than 100 Juried Crafters, musical entertainment, activities for children and much more. Smithville boasts more than 60 shops as well as a carousel, kid-friendly train, paddleboats, several eateries and antique arcades, all of which are open throughout the Oktoberfest celebration.
More info: Visit www.historicsmithville.com/smithville-events/oktoberfest or call 609-748-8999.
Where: McBride Field, 813 Franklin Lake Road, Franklin Lakes
When: October 13
Details: The 14th annual Oasis Oktoberfest prides itself on being much more than your average European celebration; the event, which features mouthwatering German food and beverages, live entertainment, raffles, awards and more, operates in support of those in need; proceeds from the event benefit the work of Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, “where education, job readiness/placement, youth development, and basic needs for women and children living in poverty” are addressed.
More info: Visit oasis.convio.net/site/Calendar?id=100401&view=Detail or call 973-881-8307 ext. 108.
New Jersey Oktoberfest
Where: Forest Lodge, 11 Reinman Road, Warren
When: October 14 (rain date: October 15)
Price: $7 for adults; free for kids 10 and under
Details: This annual Oktoberfest celebration welcomes thousands of friends and families throughout Somerset County and the surrounding areas for an entire day filled with lip-smacking German and American fair, a variety of craft brews, carnival booth games with prizes, amusement rides, inflatable obstacle courses, unique vendors and live music courtesy of the popular Doppelganger Band.
More info: Visit www.newjerseyoktoberfest.com or call 908-754-7300.
Princeton Lodge Oktoberfest
Where: Princeton Lodge #38, 345 River Road, Princeton
When: October 14
Details: The 9th annual Oktoberfest hosted by the Black Forest Craftsman Club thoroughly celebrates the club’s German heritage and Masonic tradition. Join them for some spirited music and dancing, craft vendors, authentic German beer and traditional German meals of Brezel mit senf, Bratwurst, Schweinebraten mit Jagersosse, Spaetzle, Rot Kohl and more. This is another great Oktoberfest event that is fun for the entire family.
More info: Visit www.Facebook.com/events/1164350937009031 or call 609-412-7235.
Where: Avalon Brew Pub, 125 79th Street, Avalon
When: October 14
Details: The Avalon Oktoberfest is a major fall event held at the east coast’s only beachfront micro-brewery. The event offers Avalon Brew Pub and other craft beers, giant Bavarian pretzels, sausages, and live music from the German Oompah Band. The festival is also great for kids, as it provides root beer, cotton candy and games available for children of all ages.
More info: Visit www.upcomingevents.com/e/avalon-oktoberfest-31903/?ref=icona or call 609-967-2116.
Ales ‘N Tails
Where: Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange
When: October 14
Price: $15 for designated driver; $60 for general admission
Details: The Ales ‘N Tails Oktoberfest allows guests to wander around Turtle Back Zoo during off-hours while sampling top beers and quality German fair. General admission guests are given their own souvenir sampling glass and a bottle koozie before heading into one of the state’s most renowned zoos to enjoy the Oktoberfest festivities. The event also presents local vendors and live musical entertainment.
More info: Visit turtlebackzoo.com/events/ales-n-tails-oktoberfest-2 or call 973-731-5800 ext. 236.
Where: Veterans Park, 2206 Kuser Road, Hamilton
When: October 15
Details: The annual Hamilton Oktoberfest is one of Mercer County’s largest fall events. The massive celebration, which is fun for people of all ages, features a variety of vendors, traditional German food and beverages, amusements, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, hayrides, a live concert featuring the Renaissance Orchestra, a brand new fire pit and a fireworks display to end the night.
More info: Visit www.hamiltonnj.com/Oktoberfest or call 609-581-4124.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © drubig-photo / Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Morey’s Piers / Website
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten / Website
Highlands Oktoberfest / Website
New Jersey Oktoberfest / Website
Avalon Oktoberfest / Website
Ales ‘N Tails / Website
Hamilton / Website