You don't need German DNA to get into the Bavarian spirit and celebrate Oktoberfest in New Orleans. Although most of these Oktoberfests are in October, a few are set in September like old Munich's original.
This biggest and best Oktobefest in New Orleans lost its historic home with the mid-city medical complex construction. The Deutsches Haus folk have plans for a brand new Haus on Bayou St. John but in the meantime it's being held in Kenner's Rivertown on the last three weekends in October, 2012. It's outside with tents and a big stage - and all the Haus traditions. It may not be the the Munich Oktoberfest, but it's got German culture, food, a big German beer selection, schnapps, music, chicken-dancing, kid activities, the chicken dance and more.
The historic Broussard's Restaurant at 819 Conti St. holds an Oktoberfest usually in early October. This French Quarter Oktoberfest typically includes German music well as a costume contest and cooking demonstrations, as well as German beer and German-inspired American craft brewery beer (You may have tried some of these during Craft Beer Week.) And, of course, great German food at good prices.
Gunter Preuss, Broussard's Chef, is of German heritage, and plans his Oktoberfest event for fun but also with an eye to educating New Orleans about its German heritage. By admission $10 (free for kids). This year, Oktoberfest expands to two days - Oct. 6-7, 2012, noon - 9 p.m.
The Bulldog establishments in New Orleans on a regular day has 50 beers on tap and 100 different beers in the bottles. So Oktoberfest is right up its alley.
In honor of Oktoberfest, the Bulldog in Mid-City usually celebrates for multiple days with Bavarian music, food, and beer, of course, including Oktoberfest style brews from Germany. 5135 Canal Blvd., near City Park Ave. Check the website or stay tuned for this year's plans.
Inside the Gretna Fest which takes over the streets of Old Gretna on the West Bank every October with multiple music stages and much more, the German Beer Garden celebrates Oktoberfest with a variety of German food including bratwurst and sauerkraut, hot pretzels as well as German beer, wine, and schnapps.
This year it's open Oct. 5-7, 2012, as part of the Gretna Heritage Festival on Huey P. Long Avenue in Old Gretna.
Germania Hall, a Masonic Hall, in Mid-City usually holds a one-night-only Oktoberfest. In the past, tickets were $30 for adults and included German food and drinks -- Free for kids 10 and under. 4415 Bienville St. Check the website for future plans or stay tuned.
BARKtoberfest is a New Orleans Oktoberfest celebration for dogs and their human friends.& The event includes music, prizes, games, giveaways, and the ever-popular Dog Costume Contest.
All proceeds go to the Louisiana SPCA including the Costume Contestants registration fee and food/drink purchases.
This year the New Orleans dog-friendly Oktoberfest is on October 13, 2012 (4 - 8 pm) at Canine Connection's expansive river-front outdoor party venue, 4920 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans.
Ponchatoula,"The Strawberry Capital of the World" and "Mayberry of the Deep South", and a favorite one-day road trip from New Orleans, is also the site of a big Louisiana Oktoberfest. And that's one good reason to drive to Ponchatoula. Its annual Oktoberfest is a community festival with a German flavor. Like the real Oktoberfest in Germany, Ponchatula celebrates in September.
The event features two stages of music, crazy contests and other entertainment during the band breaks. Music is provided by German music bands and local groups. Football games are televised for fans who can't tear themselves away. Both German and American food will be available.
This year, this September Oktoberfest is set for Sept. 21-23, 2012.
Middendorf's Restaurant in Manchac is usually a favorite destination restaurant for New Orleanians craving its celebrated thin fried catfish. But in October, you may want to make the trip for the German food.
Chef/owner Horst Pfiefer was born in Germany and typically celebrates with traditional Bavarian food specials on Wednesdays and Thursday through most of October.
No confirmation for this year yet. Middendorf's was damaged by Hurricane Issac but was fast to reopen. So check the website or call to confirm the German dinner schedule. 30160 Hwy 51 S. in Akers but better known as a Manchac location. Middendorf's easy to find and get to - It's right along side the Interstate.
Vegas Tapas Cafe in the past has served special 5-course Oktoberfest dinners of German inspired tapas through October. Stay tuned or check the website. 2051 Metairie Road in Old Metairie.