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Chicago Among Best Places For Oktoberfest: Rankings

Patch logo Patch 9/12/2018 Shannon Antinori

a group of people standing together smiling for the camera © Provided by Patch CHICAGO, IL — Fall officially begins this month and while summer fun may be over, it's time to grab a beer, a bratwurst and maybe a pretzel and celebrate a time-honored tradition: Oktoberfest. If your schedule doesn't allow for a trip to Munich, you can get a taste of the German-themed fun at celebrations across the United States.

But where, outside of Germany, can you find the best and most authentic Oktoberfest? According to consumer finance site WalletHub, if you're living in Chicagoland, you don't have to go too far.

"Oktoberfest often lasts from mid-September to the first Sunday in October," WalletHub notes. "It originated in early 19th Century Munich. It was only a matter of time before the Oktoberfest madness would find its way to U.S. soil, where nearly 46 million German-Americans make up the largest single ethnic group. A typical Oktoberfest in the U.S. includes many varieties of beer, live music, folk dancing, German fare and elaborate parades."

While Chicago is more well-known for Italian-style fare like deep-dish pizza, it ranked high on WalletHub's list, coming in between San Francisco (No. 4) and Philadelphia (No. 6). The rankings considered each city's Oktoberfest traditions (Chicago came in at No. 11), cost (No. 19) and safety and accessibility (No. 12).

An Oktoberfest celebration was already held earlier this month on Chicago's north side, but there's more German-themed fun to be had in the city. Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus will return for its 17th year, Friday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Sept. 30, featuring Bavarian beers, bands, brats, polka music and more.

These are the top five best U.S. cities to celebrate Oktoberfest:

  1. New York
  2. Portland, Ore.
  3. Cincinatti
  4. San Francisco
  5. Chicago

Surprisingly, none of those are the American cities with the highest German populations. Those would be Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Omaha, Nebraska; and Toledo, Ohio.

See the full WalletHub rankings here.

Photo via Shutterstock

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