Even though the official Oktoberfest celebration in Germany wrapped up already, that doesn't stop parties around the globe from mimicking the celebration, including loads of Bavarian-flavored parties in Tampa Bay.
With flowing pints of beer, giant pretzels and partiers donning their best dirndls and lederhosen, the nod to the world's largest beer festival keeps getting bigger and longer in the Tampa Bay area.
The German American Friendship Society in Pinellas Park claims to have the most authentic celebration, while Tampa's competition-heavy party this weekend in Curtis Hixon Park claims to be the biggest.
They all add some oomph to the polka-fueled oompah-pah of fall festivities. You might even want to invest $240 in a pair of special-edition kicks that Adidas rolled out last month for Oktoberfest. The company says the shoes have "a special DPBR coating" — "durable puke and beer repellent."
If you've never been, be mindful of the etiquette. "Prost!" is how Germans say cheers. The entire table drinks together, clinking their drinks with the bottom of the glasses and always making eye contact while doing so.
Here are more than a dozen Oktoberfest celebrations of various flavors spread across Tampa Bay in the coming month.
Some 10,000 people are expected at what is the largest Oktoberfest gathering in the area. The big attractions besides the giant beer garden set up in Curtis Hixon Park are the interactive games. The most popular is stein hoisting, in which strong-armed competitors try to hold a 1-liter stein full of beer straight in front without bending their elbows. There are individual games along with team competitions of various sizes, including keg stacking, the Carry the Wench race, grain sack toss, corn hole and more. $10, $25 weekend; 12 and younger free. All beer is $5 for a half-liter (16 ounces) and $10 for a liter (31.5 ounces), but you must have a commemorative stein to purchase 1 liter. If you have an acrylic mug from previous years you can bring it, but no glass. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 397-8722. oktoberfesttampa.com.
Billed as "Tampa Bay's most authentic Oktoberfest," the German American Friendship Society of Pinellas has been lifting steins and inhaling strudel under a big tent since Sept. 29. It continues this weekend, opening at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There will be live German oompah music, keg tappings, Gulf Coast Enzianer Schuhplattler Verein Folk Dancers, a variety of imported beers, homemade cuisine and German vendors. $8, 12 and younger free. 8098 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 238-8201. germantampa.com.
Oktoberfest On the Beach
Dance all day long at this 15th annual Oktoberfest with food, German music, beer and wine, vendors, arts and crafts for sale, stein carrying, keg throwing, silent auction and activities for the kids during Kinderfest. Free admission. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Kolb Park, 16th Avenue and Bay Palm Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach. (727) 692-7867. oktoberfestonthebeach.com.
Oktoberfest Family Fall Festival
A family festival with midway rides, games, music, food, an oversized flea market, beer and sports tent, live entertainment and raffles. Benefits Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Free admission. 5-9 p.m. today, 3-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 750 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin. (727) 733-3776. ollfallfestival.com.
German American Club Oktoberfest
Event includes music, food and dancing. Dress code: traditional Bavarian outfits or club casual. No shorts or jeans. Music provided by Manni Daum. Bring your own beverage. No tickets sold at the door. Advance tickets are $18 for members, $22 for guests. 4 p.m. Friday. Hernando County Shrine Club, 13400 Montour St., Brooksville. (352) 688-3744.
Fall-O-Ween and Rocktober
Halloween and Oktoberfest combine for this concert featuring a lineup of bands with members 16 and younger. Lineup includes the Mak Brothers Band, Sick Hot and the Favorite Habit Band. Free. 8-11 p.m. Saturday. O'Brien's Irish Pub, 15435 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 961-4092.
Mastry's Birthday OktoBeerfest
The St. Pete Beach brewery turns 1, and guests are invited to celebrate with live music, new beers on tap, food on site and other local beermakers who helped get the brewery started. No cover, prices vary. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday. 7701 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach. (727) 202-8045. mastrysbrewingco.com.
Oktoberfest at the Hofbrauhaus
The German music and dancing start every weekend through Oct. 28 with stein holding competitions at 7 and 9 p.m. and a chicken danceoff at 8 p.m. Saturday. No cover. 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg, 123 Fourth St. S. (727) 898-3333. hofbrauhausstpetersburg.com.
Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Oktoberfest
The large Oktoberfest celebration at the Tampa Bay Downs racetrack adds wiener dog racing. It takes place under a giant Munich-style tent with music, dancing, German-style food, festival foods, beer, a midway carnival, games for kids and competitions including stein holding, log sawing, barrel rolling and keg tossing. 5-11 p.m. Oct. 20 , 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 21 , noon-7 p.m. Oct. 22. $5, 12 and younger and veterans free. 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. (813) 855-4233. utb chamber.com.
Ybor Oktoberfest Pub Crawl
Hop among up to 10 of Ybor's patio bars and pubs on this crawl that includes a free 4-ounce Oktoberfest pour at each stop, pretzels, bratwurst, stein hoisting, beer boots and a costume contest. $25 advance, $35 day of. 2-6 p.m. Oct. 21. 5 Star Dive Bar, 1811 N 15th St., Tampa. (813) 248-3712. ybor.org.
Tierra Verde Oktoberfest:
A biergarten, food, dunk tank, bounce house, auctions and German music by DeLeon. Benefits the Kids with Cancer holiday party. No cover. 4-9 p.m. Oct. 21. Downtown Tierra Verde Parking Lot, 1110 Pinellas Bayway S, St. Petersburg. (727) 458-7177. tierraverdebusinesspartnership.com.
Temple Terrace Oktoberfest
A traditional German celebration with bratwurst and hotdog meals, dancing to live oompah music, a rock climbing wall, games, bounce houses, horse rides, face painting and craft vendors. Free, food, drink and activities additional. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 28. Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 304 Druid Hills Road, Temple Terrace. (813) 988-4025. templeterrace.com.
This one isn't until Nov. 11, but we can't leave out any party that includes an annual "Running of the Wieners," in Dunedin's Highlander Park. So bring your pooch to the annual dog-themed Oktoberfest with a doggie costume contest, a blessing of the animals and the "My Pet's Got Talent" competition. Free, $5 parking. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. with wiener race at 3:45 p.m. $7 entry per dog. 1920 Pinehurst Road. (727) 786-1330. dogtoberfest.info.
Times staff writer Kelly Stefani contributed to this report. Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.