Americans have much to thank the Germans for: BMW, bratwursts and hard syllables for writing good poetry or letting off steam, for instance. But perhaps one of the Germans’ most valuable contributions to our society is their gift for long-term merriment.
Oktoberfest is the time-honored tradition of debauchery often lasting from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. Originating from early 19th century Munich, the weeks-long event has evolved into the world’s biggest Volksfest, or “people’s festival,” attracting more than six million people from around the globe to guzzle nearly 2 million gallons of beer every year.
It was only a matter of time before the Oktoberfest madness would find its way to U.S. soil, where more than 46 million German-Americans make up the largest single ethnic group. If you’ve yet to partake in the wunderbar celebration here at home, just imagine the most awesome beerfest you’ve never been to and enhance it with live music, folk dancing, German fare and elaborate parades. (If you have the means to travel, make sure to get a taste of American-invented traditions like the “Running of the Wieners” race in Cincinnati or “Keg Bowling” in Denver.)
To help you prepare for this epic German festival, WalletHub’s data crunchers compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on 23 indicators of Oktoberfest-friendliness. Read on to see if you live in one of them. For more fun and interesting facts about this exciting event, make sure to check out our Oktoberfest Facts – History, Beer, Food and More infographic.