Whether you're dancing in the beer halls or finding the perfect bratwurst, you're going to love Columbus Oktoberfest. Held Sept. 27-29 at the Ohio Sate Fairgrounds, this covered, rain-or-shine event is a great way to celebrate both Columbus' German heritage and the beginning of fall. Warm days turn into crisp, cool evenings, perfect for dancing the night away to a five-piece brass band among blooming chrysanthemums and under red, yellow and black bunting.
1. Join in the fun. You really can't get too deep. So sport that drindl and don a chicken hat - it's the guy in a t-shirt and jeans who's going to look out of place. And dance. There's not really a wrong way to polka.
2. German Beer! Warsteiner and Bittburger . Or German Riesling. Basically, raise a glass and celebrate. A refillable mug is a good choice if you're going to spend most of your day at Oktoberfest. Saturday and Sunday at 4 and 5, there are even demos where you can learn how to pair German beer and wine with German cheese.
3. Take some time to visit German Village. While Oktoberfest is at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, German Village is not far away, and you can see what the German community built in Columbus over the past 160 years.
4. Find the German food. Schmidt's is the big daddy of Oktoberfest. While Schmidt's famous Bahama Mama isn't exactly traditional, it's still DELICIOUS. Juergen's serves up traditional desserts. Mozart's exchanges its usual Viennese pastries for beer brats, potato pancakes and schnitzel plates.
5. Check the entertainment schedule so that you don't miss the performances you want to see most. For me, that's the oompah-bands. There's no better beer-drinking music.
How do you like to enjoy Oktoberfest?