A fall harvest festival, Oktoberfest began in the Munich area of the German state of Bavaria in the early 19th century. Through the centuries, the festival transformed from an agricultural-based celebration to incorporate music, food and, of course, lots of beer drinking. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that Americans took a cue from the Germans and began celebrating Oktoberfest in earnest. And with Pennsylvania’s large German-American population, it’s no wonder that Oktoberfest is a perennial favorite in Philadelphia.

Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-3338

Date: Through Sept. 27

Stephen Starr’s Fishtown beer garden goes all out for Oktoberfest, and this year is no exception. Stop by for nearly two weeks of fun that includes everything from beer trivia and special brew releases to ping pong and movies. On Saturday, Sept. 21, an all-day block party will take over Frankford Ave from Girard to Shackamaxon Street, bringing tents, carnival games, food, music and specials from BBQ eatery Fette Sau to the neighborhood. For the full schedule, visit Frankford Hall’s website.

Brauhaus Schmitz
718 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 909-8814

Date: Sept. 21, 2013

Since it began back in 2008, Oktoberfest at Brauhaus Schmitz has grown each year. This year, the event runs from Monday, September 16 to Thursday, September 26 and will include a street fair on Saturday, September 21, on the 700 block of South Street from noon to 8 p.m. Featuring oompah music, beer, German foods and many other traditions of Oktoberfest, it will also include nightly liter lift contests, along with a performance by Brauhaus Schmitz’ Brauer Bund.

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German Society of Pennsylvania
611 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 627-2332

Date: Sept. 21, 2013 

Join the German Society of Pennsylvania starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, for the annual Oktoberfest celebration, where you can raise a beer in the traditional German toast, “prost.” The festival features potato salad, spanferkel, sauerkraut, wursts and roasted pig. Non-alcoholic beverages and food are included in the admission charge. A cash bar will be available for guests to purchase beer and other alcoholic beverages. Entertainment will include performances by GTV Almrausch Schuhplattler Group.

Oktoberfest Beer Tasting Festival at Elmwood Park Zoo
1661 Harding Blvd.
Norristown, PA 19401
(610) 277-3825

Date: Oct. 12, 2013

The annual Oktoberfest Beer Tasting Festival at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA, operates from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, rain or shine. The general admission price includes unlimited beer tastings, live animal encounters, live entertainment and a souvenir tasting glass. A VIP ticket also includes early admission and all the food you can eat, provided by Outback Steakhouse. Designated driver tickets are available for a reduced amount.

Oktoberfest Party
Brewer’s Outlet
7401 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(215) 247-1265

Date: Sept. 29, 2013

The annual Oktoberfest Party at Brewer’s Outlet is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. Admission is free. In addition to beer tasting and authentic German fare, there are prize giveaways. Oktoberfest at Brewer’s Outlet is a time to sample pumpkin beers, along with other German fall harvest beers. In addition to Oktoberfest, beer tastings are held every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Oktoberfest 13.1 Half Marathon
Pennypack Park
8750 Pine Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111
(717) 484-1127

Date: Oct. 27, 2013 

Sponsors of the Uberendurancesports Oktoberfest 13.1 suggest that racers run in Lederhosen in the half marathon competition, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 27. The event is held on a bike trail at Pennypack Park to benefit lung cancer research and honor the memory of the late Walter Grund. All finishers receive a finisher award. A post-race party will be held, in which awards will be given for best costumes. A cuckoo egg hunt is scheduled for the sloppy cuckoo trail half race, too.

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Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.