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25 Crazy Things You’d Only See At Oktoberfest

If you’re like a lot of people in Germany, the month of October means only one thing to you: Oktoberfest. Even if you’re not German, you’ve probably at least heard of Oktoberfest and that’s because it’s the world’s largest fair and it’s held every year in Munich. But Americans like to get their Oktoberfesting on as well, and in pretty much every major city from late September into early October you will find some local fairs featuring lots of beer, pretzels, sausages, and cabbage.

The very first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate a royal wedding and it’s been going on ever since — it’s only been canceled 24 times in over 200 years due to a little pesky cholera and war. And to think,  200 years later you can get into my local Oktoberfest with a Groupon.

So, although this celebration seems like a strictly adult endeavor, especially given the extra high alcohol content of German beer, most Oktoberfest fairs  have family days where they cater to kids with music and parades and rides and carnival booths. Oh, and accordion players. What kid doesn’t love accordion tunes?

So grab the whole family and head over before time runs out! And just to get you in the mood, here are 25 crazy things you’d only see at Oktoberfest. Enjoy.

  • 25 Crazy Things You’d Only See At Oktoberfest 1 of 26

    Accordions, pretzels, and LOTS of beer! Check out these 25 crazy things you'd only see at Oktoberfest...

  • Record-Breaking Bratwursts 2 of 26

    I'm not fluent in metric but I'm pretty sure that a 1/2 meter of brat-wurst is way too much bratwurst! And I like the way there's a little baguette offered in very small letters — as if! But save room for dessert because ...

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • Sugar Comas Waiting to Happen 3 of 26

    After a metric ton of bratwurst, I guess you'll need a little something sweet. And by a little something, I mean some metric amount of cake. Do they carry people out on stretchers after eating and drinking all night here?

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • Drinking Elves 4 of 26

    So I Googled "schanke," and it turns out that it means "bar" in German. In retrospect we could have guessed that, but when you see an elf guzzling a beer in a green pointy hat, "bar" isn't always going to be your first thought. Your first thought is probably going to be "he's definitely going to fall off that sign!"

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • Six Million Liters of Beer 5 of 26

    Sure, you're going to see a lot of beer at Oktoberfest. You knew that. But from my limited experience with people chugging that much beer, this doesn't seem like it's going to end well.

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Senator86

  • Lifelong Drinking Buddies 6 of 26

    In 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th anniversary, and 120,000 liters of beer were poured. Mostly to this guy.

    Photo credit: Flickr/Trent Strohm

  • Makeshift Furniture 7 of 26

    Just sayin'. But it could've been worse...

    Photo credit: Flickr/Ulises Estrada

  • Run-Ins With the Law 8 of 26

    See? That's worse. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of evenings at Oktoberfest end up like this.

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Usien

  • Glasses of Beer Chasing Lemons 9 of 26

    It's all fun until this guy squirts you in the eye. Seriously, where are the cops when you really need them? I wanna see the guy dressed up as the 1/2 meter of bratwurst!

    Photo credit: Flickr/egazelle

  • Stand-Up Drinkers 10 of 26

    Now help me understand the point of this. Are they standing tall to open up their stomachs to get more beer in? Or did the bench just get wet from spillage? Or is this some sort of tradition? There's got to be a back story!

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • A New Kind of Tip Jar 11 of 26

    This is a really great idea for breastfeeding moms!

    Photo credit: Flickr/Craig Martell

  • Creepy and Confusing Chicken Signs 12 of 26

    I think this is some sort of teddy bear you can win at one of the carnival games. At least it's been plucked. Doesn't this sign seem more like an ad to get you to quit smoking?

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • Lederhosen Parades 13 of 26

    I hope these guys are wearing Sketchers' Go Walks. I mean, not to be a mom, but sweetie, your feet are going to be very sore tomorrow!

    Photo credit: Flickr/Toast to Life

  • Floats that Send Mixed Signals 14 of 26

    Is this float sponsored by a big chicken-chopping device? Why does everything at Oktoberfest have to do with chicken, lederhosen, and beer? Maybe the real question is why doesn't everything have to do with chicken, lederhosen and beer? You know, come to think of it, someone's probably taking the band Chicken, Lederhosen, and Beer to SXSW this year.

    Photo credit: Flickr/

  • Fowl Play 15 of 26

    This looks like the evidence at Frank Perdue's trial.


    That's a lot of Hendl (that's Oktoberfest lingo for chicken!) People are going to have to loosen their lederhosen after this!

    Photo credit: Flickr/Trent Strohm

  • Horses With Better Clothes Than You 16 of 26

    If Paris Hilton had ponies instead of puppies she'd totally dress them up like this! Are they muzzled so they can't have any beer? It's the Dodger's newest mascots! (I have a million of these, I could go on and on ...)

    Photo credit: Flickr/digital cat

  • Just Some Light Socializing 17 of 26

    By the end of the night a good number of these people will become "Bierleichen" (German for "beer corpses").

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Wind

  • The Fusion of Movement and Music 18 of 26

    Here's what I enjoy about this picture: the dude playing the horn is wearing lederhosen and tube socks! Now that's a lethal combination!

    Photo credit: Flickr/mike3k

  • Up and Coming Talents 19 of 26

    There's always going to be that guy who can't let Oktoberfest go and has to keep partying even while he goes to the grocery store to get his week's supply of food. It's either that or he's warming up for his big show in the hippodrom (that's Oktoberfest industry speak for the big tent!).

    Photo credit: Flickr/Rochelle Hartman

  • Frat Party Memories 20 of 26

    Did you know that the cry "Ozapft is!" which means, "It's tapped!" opens the festival? Admit it, you're totally going to pick up a few of these bad boys at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. (Don't forget your 20% off coupon!)

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Usien

  • Yankee Doodle Influences? 21 of 26

    This is the Kentucky Derby wear of Oktoberfest.

    Photo credit: Flickr/Toast to Life

  • Interspecies Friendships 22 of 26

    This is what happens when you down too much Lowenbrau: you wake up with a chicken in your bed.

    Photo credit: Flickr/Bill Townsend Photography

  • Boozy Fun Houses 23 of 26

    Here is a typical tent which kind of reminds me of a ride at Disneyland — if Disneyland was chock full of beer.

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Usien

  • Gnomes 24 of 26

    Little known fact: Oktoberfest is the only time a garden gnome can legally get really drunk. All other times of the year they must abide by normal laws of conduct befitting lawn ornamentation.

    Photo credit: Flickr/JasonParis

  • Life-Threatening Swing Sets 25 of 26

    Even at a festival that is all about drinking and other adult activities, you can't get away from swings. I mean, it's nice that it's family friendly, but I'd like to be somewhere where I wasn't just trying to keep my kid from getting hit in the head by a swinging boat!

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bjs

  • Boneless Sandwiches 26 of 26

    I can understand getting a bit buzzed and ordering a Dominos Pizza but come on, how much St. Pauly's Girl does one have to drink to be like, "A carp sandwich? Sure, I'll take three."

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Usien

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