Find Oktoberfests in New Mexico

German Fall Festivals

Beer Steins
••• Harry Briggs

What originally started in 1810 in Bavaria to celebrate the marriage of a king and his princess is now an annual celebration found even in the towns of New Mexico. The famous Munich fall festival has local versions worldwide. Oktoberfests are fun family events that feature German food, beer, music and dance.

When the Bavarian crown prince Louis, who later became Louis I of Bavaria, married the princess Therese von Schsen-Hildburghausen, the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities.

The year was 1810. The festivities took place on the public fields in front of the city's gates, and the fields came to be known as Therese's fields, or Theresienwiese, in honor of the princess. The name was shortened to Wies'n over the years. At the end of the royal festivities in 1810, the royal family held horse races. In the following years, the festivities and horse races continued to take place. In time, the festivities led to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfests take place anywhere from mid to late September through October, but traditionally it begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. At the modern festivals, drinking alcohol has become a large part of the tradition. Beer and German food are at the center of the festivities, with sauerkraut, bratwurst and German beer as staples. 

In Munich, the festival still runs 16 to 18 days. The Munich Oktoberfest is the largest public festival in the world, with about six million tourists descending on the city during the festival.

Bands play Bavarian music and male festival goers sometimes wear lederhosen, while women wear Dirndl dresses.

The following Oktoberfests can be found in New Mexico this fall.

Updated for 2016.

The annual Oktoberfest in the Taos Ski Valley features music by the Denver Kickers and dance by the Schuhplattler Dancers.

There will be German food and beer, a brat eating contest, yodeling contest, alpenhorn blowing contest, and fun for the kids.
For 2016: September 17

Holloman Air Force Base Oktoberfest
Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo
The fest has been a tradition at the base since 1996. The ticket price includes a beer stein and shuttle service to and from the base. You'll find traditional Bavarian music and German food, soft drinks and Oktoberfest beer.
For 2016: September 10

Socorro Oktoberfest
Hammel Museum, Neal and 6th, Socorro
The historic Hammell Museum was home to a brewery until Prohibition. The annual event features food and drink at the museum the first Saturday of every October. In addition to traditional bratwurst and beer, you'll find green chile, New Mexico style.
For 2016: October 1

Red River Oktoberfest
Brandenburg Park, in central Red River
By far the largest Oktoberfest in the state takes place in Red River. Each October, the town looks like a German village, with German food and music. Microbreweries have beer on tap and there is plenty of wine as well. Some of the brews are New Mexico's own. Contests include brat eating, stein holding and of course, Ms. Oktoberfest. Admission is free.

For 2016: October 7 - 9

Ruidoso Oktoberfest
Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso
The long running Ruidoso festival features traditional German music (think polka) that gets everyone dancing. Food includes bratwurst and knockwurst with sauerkraut, Polish sausage, Reuben sandwiches, and traditional baked goods such as strudels and black forest cake. The fest includes craft booths, arts and Bavarian clothing. And of course, there will be beer.
For 2016: October 14 and 15

Angel Fire Oktoberfest
The annual event put on by the Rotary Club of Angel Fire takes place in Angel Fire from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For 2016: October 15

5th Annual Oktoberfeista Fundraiser
Santa Fe Brewing will have its annual fundraiser across the street at The Bridge in Santa Fe. A portion of the proceeds will go to three local nonprofits.

There will be beer, live music, food and fun for the entire family.
For 2016: October 15 and 16

Find out how to create your own Oktoberfest party.