New Ulm Oktoberfest

The annual festival returns with brew, a grape stomp, and plenty of German fare

A mug of beer with overflowing suds.

photo by groupcheers / fotolia

10/7-8, 10/14-15

The Munich folk festival started as a royal wedding celebration in 1810 and has since morphed into lederhosen-wearing trombonists on parade, 120,000 liters of beer, and Germany’s recently minted “quiet Oktoberfest” for people who prefer their fisticuffs without Schlager pop music. A little closer to home, New Ulm spends 11 months out of the year as a quiet Minnesota town, so there’s no holding back the first two weekends this month. Check out its Midwestern take on a European tradition, featuring—yes, plenty of beer—plus a competitive grape stomp at Morgan Creek Vineyards, the Schell’s beer wagon, celebrating the German immigrant heritage of the local Schell’s Brewery, and so much food and oom-pah infiltrating a Best Western Plus.

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