There’s no better way to welcome the sweet crispness of autumn than with an Oktoberfest celebration, and the 48th annual Columbus Oktoberfest, which takes place September 27th through the 29th, has all the fixings of an authentic German festival. Originally held in German Village, the celebration moved to the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fairgrounds several years ago to accommodate its upwards of 35,000 guests. Its popularity is no shocker. From the stone toss to a kids tractor pull, and - of course - the polka, there’s entertainment for the entire family. The celebration begins with none other than the ceremonious tapping of the kegs as the U.S. and German National Anthems ring throughout the Expo Center. Then, it’s off to the fifth annual Meiler Vier four-mile run. Slap on your favorite lederhosen and run as fast as you can for the chance to covet the winning beer stein. But, whether you win or lose, there’s a beer waiting to quench your thirst at the finish line.
After you’ve filled your stein to the brim, it’s time to dig into some savory German fare and family friendly festivities. An array of vendors, including the Schmidt Haus, who has been cooking up German hospitality for five generations, are stirring up all your authentic German favorites and more from brats to German potato salad, sauerkraut balls, and potato pancakes. Sip your bier as you browse endless arts and crafts for a souvenir or chat with local merchants about their trades through the market. The entire family will enjoy the Funny Bone Comedy Show or a jig to the Ragtime Strutters. At the end of the day, you’ll leave with a full belly and a satisfying smile.