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Where to hit Oktoberfest stateside

Where to hit Oktoberfest stateside

Ah, Oktoberfest (German for, well, October fest). It's that time of year for that beer-slinging, stein-stomping, lederhosen-laden annual drink-a-thon. This German festival began in Munich in 1810 as a celebration of King Ludwin I's marriage to Princese Therese. Since then, it’s spread across the globe and presents an opportunity for Germans to celebrate their heritage and a reason for the rest of us to raise our steins and savor some Bavarian brew.

If you can’t pack up your Power Trip Travel Set and jet off to the Fatherland, you can still enjoy one of the fine Oktoberfests right here in the good ole U.S. of A.

First stop, Leavenworth, Washington, about 100 miles east of Seattle, where guys can don their finest lederhosen and tip their hat to a fine looking fraulein. Leavenworth is a Bavarian-style town, and there's something for everyone at its annual Oktober shindig, including oompah bands, kid-friendly activities and waitresses carrying what looks like a keg’s worth of beer at a time. The town also hosts a half and full marathon to work off and sweat out all that Hefeweizen.

If the Midwest is closer to home base, visit the second-largest Oktoberfest behind Munich in the Queen City itself, Cincinnati, Ohio. Even with an estimated 500,000 or more party people in attendance, Zinzinnati, as it's called, is basically a free festival, and no tickets are required to get in. This three-day brew bash boasts chicken dancing, pretzels, polka, beer, beer and, oh yeah, more beer. Bring along all your Jack Black travel essentials to make sure you can extend your daytime party well into the night.

If you’d rather take your brats and beer on the beach, check out Oktoberfest Tampa, held along the sunny Tampa Riverwalk. Nosh on German treats, such as schnitzel, warm pretzels and of course, plenty of brats. If you’re game, participate in one of the more than 20 competitions held at the ‘fest, like the barrel roll, the liter stein bucket race or the stein hoisting competition.

Even though you can't swing a trans-Atlantic getaway this month, treat yourself, along with a few of your closest beer-loving buddies, to a destination Oktoberfest with some American flair.
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