Travel Picks: Top 10 Oktoberfests outside Germany
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Not every Oktoberfest reveler will know they're toasting the 19th-century marriage of a Bavarian crown prince as they guzzle beer and bratwurst for two weeks each autumn.
But that's where the tradition started and, though its roots are still in Munich, the entire world has since joined in on the celebrations.
Online adviser Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) provides its top 10 Oktoberfest celebration outside Germany from Ho Chi Minh City to Dublin. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Canadians pull out all the stops for nine days each autumn to create the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich. Based in Ontario's twin cities, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a celebration the entire family can enjoy; the German extravaganza offers more than 40 family and cultural events, including the "World's Most Dangerous Bocce Ball Tournament." The celebration culminates at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, a televised spectacle of floats, entertainers and marching bands broadcast across the country. Dates: October 7-16
2. Hong Kong
The thriving expat community in Hong Kong has done a fine job - for 19 years now - of importing lederhosen and sauerkraut for a waterfront Oktoberfest at the beginning of each November, sponsored by the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. This year will be especially festive, as the Marco Polo German Bierfest celebrates its 20th anniversary. Expect three straight weeks of lively debauchery (last year, nearly 40,000 guests crammed into the traditional tent for live music and pork knuckles). The real question isn't whether or not you should go. It's "How many 1-liter beer steins can I fit in my suitcase home?" Dates: October 21-November12
3. Blumenau, Brazil ... a mini Munich
Though Oktoberfests are celebrated all over Brazil each October, it's Blumenau's that provides attendees with a quintessential German aesthetic. In 1850, German immigrants founded the town, situated in Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. And it's obvious: the German Village (Vila Germânica) in the city center features German-style buildings that take visitors out of Brazil and drop them smack-dab in the middle of Bavaria. And in October, that means Oktoberfest. A reported 700,000 visitors annually flood the town to eat, drink and dance - to an oompah-samba fusion, we assume. Dates: October 6-23 Continued...