There’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the boozy chicken dance spectacular, touted as the largest such celebration this side of Munich. And then there’s what we like to think of as the real deal: the Germania Society of Cincinnati Oktoberfest, now in its 46th year.
What this plucky fest lacks in size it makes up for in authenticity. The society got its start a whopping 50 years ago to provide a home base for lovers of German culture; its annual Oktoberfest is less about novelty lederhosen (though there’s a lot of that and dirndls, too) and more about an earnest celebration of Bavarian heritage.
And yes, of course, it’s about beer: 60 taps serving up German and domestic varieties (we like the hefty Warsteiner Dunkel, but don’t miss the Jever on tap in the clubhouse) and plenty of wine and schnapps to boot. You’ll need it to wash down all that schnitzel, goetta, curry wurst, sauerkraut, strudel, and Germania’s famous rotisserie chickens. Before you call it a night, seek out The Rat Game, a totally bizarre take on carnival roulette featuring—you guessed it—a live rat. It’s the funniest, weirdest thing you’ll see all summer. Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Rd., Fairfield, germaniasociety.com