Exploring San Diego


Bust out your lederhosen for these San Diego Oktoberfests

Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 20:27:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As if San Diego's love for beer couldn't be more evident, a handful of Oktoberfest celebrations this month will only serve as another reminder.

But a delicious one at that.

Oktoberfest returns with specialty brews, German cuisine, dancing and music, and some seasonally required lederhosen in San Diego.

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The official celebration takes place Sept. 19 through Oct. 4. in Munich, Bavaria. The celebration itself, however, wasn't born out of a love for brews. The festival wasn't even open to alcohol to start!

It started as a wedding celebration to honor Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Festivities began on October 12, 1810, and ended on October 17. They were repeated in the following years, to the point that the date of the festival was extended and moved forward.

In San Diego, residents aren't shy about celebrating the annual festival just as fellow beer-lovers in Germany have done for years. Here's where you can raise a pint this season:


Oktoberfest in El Cajon

When: Sept. 28 - Oct. 7

Enjoy authentic German food and beers, watch traditional dancing performances, and enjoy vendor booths and a kids zone over two weekends at El Cajon's Oktoberfest.


La Mesa Oktoberfest

When: Sept. 28 - Sept. 30

Perhaps the San Diego area's biggest Oktoberfest is in La Mesa, where three days of German beers and food, family entertainment, a Kinder Karneval, a brat-eating contest, rides and games, and more can be found.


Encinitas Oktoberfest

When: Sept. 30

Encinitas' Oktoberfest promises everyone plenty of chances to eat, drink, shop and be German for the day. Attendees can check out 200 craft booths, dancers, and carnival rides for kids during the celebration.


Carlsbad Oktoberfest

When: Oct. 6

North County's longest running Oktoberfest is back again with costume contests, music and dancing, arts and crafts, carnival rides, and much more. Carlsbad's party also packs in plenty of beer and German eats, with proceeds benefiting local charities.


Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

When: Oct. 12 - Oct. 13

OB Pier brings a SoCal spin to Oktoberfest with two days of fun along the shore. Check out traditional performances, arts and crafts, a sausage tossing competition and other contests, the crowning of Ms. Oktoberfest, and plenty of beer and grub.


Pala Casino Oktoberfest

When: Oct. 13

Pala Casino is hosting their own celebration of Germany's most famous festival. The Starlight Theater will be transformed into an Oktoberfest party with traditional-style beers and foods across multiple stations, and authentic Bavarian music.


Oktoberfest in Julian

When: Oct. 14

Way up in the San Diego mountains is a well-hidden Oktoberfest tradition. Julian hosts its 23rd annual Oktoberfest celebration at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church. Celebrate with family fun, German folk music, folk dancers, kids activities, and food and drinks!