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Strudel To Steins: Octoberfests Are Ski Resort Fall Staple

October fest at SnowbirdMany American towns adopted the popular Munich festival of Oktoberfest due to their German immigrant populations. Ski resorts have followed, offering celebrations with traditional Bavarian music, dancing, beer, food, and activities. Most offer free admission and lodging specials. 

Check out these ski areas for fall fun — lederhosen and dirndls optional, family enjoyment guaranteed.


California offers one of the oldest and most popular celebrations at Big Bear Lake. The 45th Annual Oktoberfest runs through the end of October and features German foods, beers, stein-carrying challenges, concerts, game booths, log sawing, and kids’ activities. 

Some 60,000 visitors are expected to attend Snowbird's 43rd Oktoberfest, which offers music, dancing, authentic German food and beer, and children’s activities weekends through October 11. “Because our Oktoberfest is a popular cultural and family event, we offer it on weekends  so kids can come up with their parents,” Brian Brown told SnoCountry.com.

Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley (high above Tucson) brings Oktoberfest to the Southwest, weekends through Oct. 19.


Iowa’s Mt. Crescent brings Oktoberfest Oct. 3 with beer, brats, pretzels.


Ober Gatlinburg’s 6th Oktoberfest through Nov. 1, features Bier Garten, German food, games, and OomPah band along with the Tennessee ski area’s attractions. 

Sugar Mt. OktoberfestSugar Mt. OktoberfestSugar Mountain (N.C.) welcomes families and leashed pets to its 25th Oktoberfest Oct.10-11.Spaten beer (the world’s first Oktoberfest beer created in 1872), Bavarian food, and OomPah Band with yodeling, accordions, and Alpenhorns are featured along with children’s activities and vendors offering crafts and food, Kim Jochl told SnoCountry.com.

A Mountain Harvest Fest with vendors plus crafts for kids accompanies Blue Mountain’s (Pa.) traditional Oktoberfest of beer, brats, and live entertainment Oct. 3-4.

Hunter Mountain’s traditional Catskills Oktoberfest runs weekends through October 17-18. Road rallies (motorcycle to Euro car), wine tasting, and farmer’s market (vendors, kids’ crafts) enhance the festival of German food, games, and music. Live entertainment includes Schuhplattler, bands from Germany, juggling and magic acts. 

The Oct. 10-11 Oktoberfest at Attitash (N.H.) features King Ludwig's Band, dancing, stein hoisting and keg toss competitions, kids' activities and games, German food and Biergarten tent. 

Killington’s debut Oktoberfest, Oct. 10-11, includes keg bowling, stein hoisting, and Bratwurst eating contests along with traditional music and food.

Photos: Top -- Fest time at Snowbird, Utah (Snowbird); Left and right -- Fun times at Sugar Mountain N.C. (Bushphoto.com); Bottom: Plenty of room-pah music at Snowbird (Snowbird)

Snowbird Oom-Pah music

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