Texas has a rich German heritage, and numerous Oktoberfest events across the Lone Star State celebrate that culture. Those visiting Texas in the fall who enjoy German food, drink, and music may want to check out one of these fun-filled fests for an offbeat vacation experience. If you're of German heritage, bring along your lederhosen (leather shorts with suspenders) and join your Texas brethren for a good time. It's easy to get into the spirit as you and your friends hold up big beer steins and share a hearty prost (cheers).
Many of these events have been altered or canceled in 2020, so check the details below and event websites for more information.
The Texas Renaissance Festival—an annual event lasting several weeks and held in a recreated 16th-century English village—features more than 200 daily performances and 400 arts and crafts shops. Guests also enjoy numerous food and beverage options from many cultures, nightly fireworks, and thousands of costumed characters strolling the grounds.
Although it is not technically an "Oktoberfest," the opening weekend of the Renaissance festival is themed as such and will be held October 3 and 4, 2020. Dance the polka, have a beer in the beer garden, and test your mettle in the wurst-eating contest. The fun takes place 50 miles northwest of Houston in Todd Mission. In 2020, all tickets must be bought online in advance.
In early October 2020, San Antonio's Beethoven Halle und Garten is hosting a socially distant indoor/outdoor event, featuring festive music, German choirs, and food. Check Facebook or the event website for updates.
Oktoberfest is a traditional German celebration with a full complement of food, music, drink, dance, and entertainment. Founded in 1867, Beethoven Halle is one of the oldest German singing societies in Texas. Its main goal is to preserve the songs, music, and language of Germany—so expect a lot of singing at Oktoberfest, which usually welcomes visitors the first two Fridays and Saturdays in October.
Held at the Southlake Town Square, Oktoberfest is a family-oriented event with plenty of things to do, including the crowd-pleasing Wiener Dog Race, the lederhosen and dirndl (a skirt with a tight waist) costume contests, and arts and crafts booths. Taking place on October 2-4, 2020, the event in this Dallas/Fort Worth suburb attracts more than 100,000 people throughout the weekend. Admission is free, but guests must buy tickets for food, drinks, and activities.
This event has been canceled for 2020. A “10-Day Salute to Sausage,” Wurstfest has been drawing visitors to the German-influenced Hill Country town of New Braunfels since 1961. More than 100,000 people attend the event annually. Expect music, dancing, and rides. You'll also have your choice of American, German, or Texan brews. The annual event typically falls between late October and mid-November.
This event has been canceled for 2020. A celebration of all things German, the all-ages Austin Oktoberfest means beer tastings, all the sausage you can eat (plus some vegetarian options), live music, the polka, and bowling. Admission includes Texas German Bier tastings and unlimited German-style sausage from some of Central Texas' best meat purveyors, including Miller's Smokehouse, Southside Market & Barbeque, and more. It happens at Scholz Garten and Saengerrunde Halle in the Capitol area.
This event has been canceled for 2020. Fredericksburg is known for its German heritage and celebrations. There are fantastic restaurants and shops selling German and European food as well as souvenirs.
Fredericksburg's event is a traditional German Oktoberfest taking place in early October. You'll find plenty of authentic German food, including bratwurst, sauerkraut, and schnitzel burgers. There will also be live entertainment, a Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance, a 42 domino tournament, and a yodeling trio.
This event has been canceled for 2020. Although it's held in September to coincide with the opening of the Munich Oktoberfest, the Addison Oktoberfest is one of the biggest and best Oktoberfests in the nation. Addison's celebration is an authentic recreation of the Munich event. Attendees can drink Paulaner beer, eat strudel, sausages, and other German treats, and listen to German music. Addison is about a 20-minute drive north of Dallas.
As of late August, information was not available on whether this event was taking place in 2020. One of the newest—and most unique—Oktoberfests in Texas is Corpus Christi's Surftoberfest. Blending German and Gulf Coast influences, the event features 50 draft beers from all of Corpus Christi's local breweries, as well as live polka music, a beer stein-holding contest, and a best-dressed Wiener dog competition.