As the air turns crisp, and leaves begin to fall, mugs of cold beer start flowing for Oktoberfest. Actually, those mugs of Oktoberfest beer will flow throughout September. The event began as a public wedding celebration for Germany royalty on Oct 12, 1810. Subsequent celebrations have traditionally begun on the third weekend of September and concluded on the first Sunday of October. In Omaha, however, you can find festivities all month.
Gerda’s German Restaurant and Bakery
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9;
4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10
5180 Leavenworth St.
One of Omaha’s largest Oktoberfests, this event has been going for more than 20 years. The celebration runs late into the night with music from the Dave Salmons Polka Band. Wash down a variety of German beers with Bavarian-style baked chicken, schweinshaxe (ham shank), or spaetzle, the German-style noodles made by the German-born Gerda herself. No admission.
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
11941 Centennial Road, Suite 1
The beer is brewed on site. There are also sausages, pretzels, cocktails from Cut Spike Distillery (which shares a building with the brewery), and live music by Barry Boyce Band. Walk-in admission is $5 per person. Ticket bundles are selling on Groupon for $12 dollars (admission for two with two commemorative glasses) or $22 (admission for four with four glasses). Commemorative glasses do not come filled with beer.
132nd German Day Celebration and Oktoberfest at the German-American Society
5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 16;
11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 17
3717 S. 120th St.
The German-American Society of Omaha was founded in 1884 as the “Omaha Plattdeutscher Verein.” Ever since, the organization has held a Deutsche Tag, or German Day, every year. Deutsche Tag is now celebrated in conjunction with their Oktoberfest. This event for the whole family (not just the 21-and-up crowd) features games and face painting. The food menu features roast pig, schnitzel, and German potato salad. Admission is $5 each day for adults, which does not include beer or food. 402-333-6615
Crescent Moon and Huber-Haus Oktoberfest
4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23;
noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
3578 Farnam St.
The Huber-Haus, adjoining the Crescent Moon, celebrates Oktoberfest for the 15th time this year. They serve Hofbrau, Spaten, Warsteiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, and Weihenstephaner beers on tap along with plenty of favorite German foods. Admission is $5 for adults ages 12 and older and does not include food or beer.
6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
1302 North 60th St.
The annual fundraiser for the Benson Community Garden gives new meaning to term “beer garden.” Grilled brats and live music—with performances by the Polka Police—will entertain the whole family. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5 per person.
–bensongardens.org Omaha Magazine