Ja. It's time to get on your lederhosen and just sink into sausage, beer, and kraut heaven. You do know that Oktoberfest is actually celebrated all through September, right? I just don't want you to wake up in October and have missed it all. That would be a boot full of schadenfreude.
Sept. 10-12 Minneapolis Oktoberfest
This one launches it for the metro. All weekend long on the Mississippi Riverfront you'll find Edelweiss dancers, Dachshund races, beer barrel rolling, and plenty of liquid refreshment. Plus, the James Page Blubber Run!
Sept. 10-11 @ Kramarczuk's Kielbasa Festival in Nordeast
It's not really an official Oktoberfest, but it sure feels like one. Kramarczuk's is throwing a neighborhood party this weekend to kick things off, full-on sausage, local music, and Grain Belt Nordeast in satisfactory quantities. Tickets are $10, and your first beer in a commemorative stein is free!
Sept. 17-18, 24-25, and Oct. 1-2, 8-9 @ Gastohof zur Gemutlichkeit
Still have yet to drink from a glass boot in your young life? Can you really say you've lived? Grab the boot by the heel and tip it back or indulge in the meterbrat eating contest. (Note: vomiting before finishing the meterbrat is a disqualifier, shucks.) Or you can just happily dance the night away while noshing on schnitzel, sauerkraut on wurst, apfelstrudel, and fat soft pretzels.
Sept. 17-18 @ Schell's Brewing Co. 150th Anniversary
Again, not really an Oktoberfest, but Germanic in the celebration of beer, and history, and music, and food, PROST! Come on, the guy's name was August Schell. Plus, free brewery tours and the firing of a Civil War cannon.
Sept. 23-Oct. 3 @ Black Forest Inn
These people know how to throw a fest. They kick it off with a cabaret (complete with feathers and alphorns) and follow with theme nights dedicated to German chocolate, home brewing, the brothers Grimm, and of course, David Hasselhoff. They cap it off on the first Sunday in October with the draining of the kegs, achieved by dropping the price every half hour starting at 2pm.
Sept 17-19 and 24-26 @ Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter
Out Stillwater way, the Gasthaus has room for a massive biergarten tent, and they're not afraid to use it. Polka bands, hammerschlagen (hit-a-nail-with-a-hammer fun), and Jagermeister shots on a ski promise good times. Sunday is a more family friendly affair with free pony rides (to make up for all your Jager-evil the night before).
Oct. 2 @ Glockenspiel
Spaten is the unofficial beer of the fall festival, and you'll definitely find it here. It may help you win the beer belly contest, but possibly not the kraut-eating contest. Count on dancing, accordians, sausage, and merriment.
Oct. 1-2 and 8-9 New Ulm Oktoberfest
This has to be ground zero for Germanic tradition in Minnesota. We're talking about having a whole town in which to celebrate, what with their quaint avenues, big brass bands, Herman the German monuments, and home-town-hero Schell's Brewery. Worth the drive.