October is just not October without Oktoberfests.
German foods, biergartens, giant steins, and boisterous oompah bands are the things that come to mind when I think of Oktoberfest, and Virginia has plenty of all this month.
First, and before we even talk about festivals, Virginia includes strong German heritage dating from the first German arrivals to Jamestowne in 1608 and their eventual permanent settlement beginning in 1714.
German influence exists today in Virginia, and you can see it in Virginia wine (Gewurztraminer and Riesling), historic churches (Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison was built by German settlers in 1740 and is one of four wooden churches surviving since Colonial times), and German-flavored fun (Wohlfahrt House Dinner Theatre in Wytheville and The Rhein River Inn in Buchanan).
Now, back to the festivities …
A blow-out with German fare and beer, Oktoberfest Reston includes carnival rides and is as much fun for the kids as it is for the adults. It’s coming up this weekend, October 7-9 at Reston Town Center.
The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest in Virginia occurs in Richmond. This year the party roars October 21-22 at The Showplace. You’ll have your chance to polka and waltz, watch the folk dancing of Hirschjäger Bavarian Dancers, and fill yourself with food and drink.
“Quite the spread.” That’s what you’ll think when you see the immense buffet at Mountain Lake Hotel every weekend through October 29. Roast pig, fresh-baked breads and pastries, beers, wines, ciders, dancing, and a really fun Oompah band make this a weekend you’ll wait all year to repeat. Accommodations available.
If you’re looking for a taste of German-inspired beers brewed close to home, make your way to Huddleston October 22 for Oktoberfest at Smith Mountain Lake where you can sample Legend Oktoberfest, as well as beer from Maryland and North Carolina. German fare and lively musical entertainment are on-hand as well.
Virginia’s biggest theme parks are definitely in the mix with the German-themed fun.
Kings Dominion invites you to an all-you-can-eat picnic meal with a German flare this Sunday, October 9. Beer is priced per cup, and your Oktoberfest admission includes the entire park plus HAUNT, if you care to stay for the scare.
Busch Gardens has an entire section of the park dedicated to all things German. During regular park hours catch “This is Oktoberfest” at the Festhaus. It’s an enthusiastic song and dance show with German eats and brews served alongside. Busch Gardens is open weekends through the month of October.
Ready to dive in? Make your travel plans at Virginia.org and hit the road!