Sponsored by the Deutsches Haus of New Orleans, three weekends of German-food, music, culture and – above all – fun, await you at this annual celebration of all things German.
Occurring through three consecutive weekends in October, the dates for this year’s Oktoberfest are Friday and Saturday, October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27.
Coinciding in the annual festival in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest is celebrated just outside of New Orleans in the Rivertown section of Kenner, where Williams Boulevard ends at the Mississippi River levee, roughly ten miles from downtown New Orleans and one mile from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Beer, Food and Activities
This event hosts the widest variety of classic German beers this side of the Atlantic. German “oom pah pah” brass bands set the beats for traditional folk dances that often involve knee-slapping, twisting and call-and-response. The “Chicken Dance” reigns as the most popular of these dances, along with polkas, waltzes and others.
And, if you have strong arms, you can participate in the Masskrugstemmen beer stein holding contest, held every day of the festival at 6:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. For those who prefer less strenuous activity you can watch the Wiener Dog (dachshund) races.
Among the authentic German foods being offered are:
- Sauerbraten (braised marinated roast beef)
- Krautwickel (ground beef stuffing rolled in cabbage)
- Kasseler Rippchen (smoked pork shank braised in a citrus sauce)
- Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage)
- Kartoffelbrei (creamed potatoes)
- Bratwurst sausage
- Giant Bavarian pretzels
- German wines and liquors (including many varieties of schnapps)
- And more than 20 German premium brand beers to wash it all down!
So, plan on coming out for at least one weekend of the New Orleans area’s most authentic celebration of Oktoberfest. There’s something for everyone at this family-friendly event.
For more details and updates on Oktoberfest in New Orleans, call (504) 522-8014, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.deutscheshaus.org.
German History in Louisiana
In the late 1700s and early 1800s large numbers of Germans settled in the areas upriver from the predominantly French settlement of Nouvelle Orleans. They were primarily farmers who tilled the rich alluvial soil on both sides of the Mississippi River in what are now known as the River Parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James. This area was known as the German Coast.
Over the years the German settlers intermarried with the Cajun French who were already settled in and they “Cajunized” their family names. However, they retained many characteristics of their German heritage. That Germanic heritage is still celebrated today, especially during Oktoberfest.
Deutsches Haus and Oktoberfest History
Oktoberfest is sponsored by Deutsches Haus, the German cultural center that is temporarily located in suburban Metairie. Incorporated in 1928, the Deutsches Haus was formed as a benevolent and social organization that evolved from the Deutsche Gesellschaft von New Orleans, a group that provided support for the numerous German immigrants in the New Orleans area.
The Deutsches Haus has grown into an organization with a mission to celebrate and foster the rich culture, musical heritage, language and history of the German people. It also has one of the largest private archives of German memorabilia in the country, containing records from various German consulates, local German newspapers, genealogical records and more.
Until 2011 the Haus was located in an old brick building at Galvez and Canal streets in New Orleans but it was razed to make way for a new hospital complex. A new Deutsches Haus is in the process of being built on a parcel of land adjacent to Bayou St. John in New Orleans.