Helen, GA Oktoberfest: Bavarian Tradition Without The Airfare

Have you always wanted to experience the merriment of the real Oktoberfest in Germany? Do you want to drink beer like the Germans drink it and dance as the Germans do? Fortunately for you, there’s no need to pay hundreds of dollars to fly to Germany, there’s an authentic Oktoberfest right here in the States!

For over four decades, the city of Helen, GA has hosted an annual Oktoberfest in its charming Bavarian environment. To truly appreciate the Helen, GA Oktoberfest, you need to know the history of the festival and how it all came to be.

History of Oktoberfest

Over 200 years ago, the Crown Prince Ludwig of Germany wanted to celebrate his marriage to his new love, Princess Therese of Bavaria. Ludwig invited all of the citizens of Munich to enjoy a huge festival right in front of the city gates. After all the festivity and dancing, horse races were the finale to the event. The horse races were so popular and well-liked that they added them the next year, and the year after that, and after that.

However, the other aspects of Oktoberfest, such as the beers and brats, overshadowed the horse races, and the decision was made to drop them from the festival in 1960. 

To this day, Oktoberfest is celebrated annually with lots of good food, good beer, good music, and good times. It is so popular that cities all over the world are hosting their own Oktoberfest festivals. But the most authentic Oktoberfest of them all is unquestionably the Helen, GA Oktoberfest.

Enjoy Oktoberfest Traditions

What you would find at the Oktoberfest in Germany is what you’ll find right here in Helen, GA during September and October.

For one, the food served at Helen, GA Oktoberfest is thoroughly German. You’ll nosh on Hendl, Schweinebraten, Steckerlfisch, and Schweinshaxe. That’s traditional chicken, roast pork, grilled fish on a stick, and grilled ham hock, for those of you who don’t know German. Along with these savory meats, you’ll also enjoy sausages, pretzels, potato dumplings, cheese noodles, potato pancakes, Sauerkraut, a spiced cheese-butter spread called Obatzda, and the famous white sausage, known as Weisswurt, that you can only eat before noon. You’ll walk away from your time at Helen, GA Oktoberfest with a full stomach and a smile on your face.

And what’s an Oktoberfest celebration without women dancing in dirndl skirts, singing men wearing lederhosen breeches, and buildings with exposed timbers and cobblestones? The whole city of Helen, GA has been designed to resemble an Alpine village, along with a rush of water flowing through it all just like in Bavaria. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported across the ocean as you drink your beer and sing along with the jovial German songs.

What else will you do other than eating traditional Bavarian fare and enjoying the city? Lots of music and dancing, of course. German and Austrian bands will be at the Helen, GA Oktoberfest all dressed up in traditional attire. Some of them will even play with carved wood instruments, alphorns, and musical saws. Yes, there’ll also be shoe slapping dances, yodeling, group dances, Polka dancing, and the infamous chicken dance!

Convenient Location

Getting to Helen, GA is easy. The city is located around 70 miles from Atlanta and is within driving distance from many cities in the country. Atlanta is one of the biggest airports in the country, and you can find an affordable flight from anywhere in the United States to Atlanta, GA.

Most of the events at the Helen, GA Oktoberfest take place at the Helen Festhalle, where you can easily walk to after browsing the shops and restaurants in town. You’ll enjoy your days without having to drive to many different places. Sample beers at a beer garden, enjoy a walk along the Chattahoochee River and take pictures of the charming and authentic German buildings in town before heading to the Helen Festhalle to drink and dance the night away.

helen in october

Come and Visit Helen This Fall!

It’s clear why the Helen, GA Oktoberfest is the longest running Oktoberfest celebration in the country. The music, the food, the beer, the city, and the people make the festival so memorable and enjoyable…, and there’s worry of a long flight to ride or the expense of airfare.

Have you ever been to an Oktoberfest festival? What about one right here in Helen, GA? What was it like and how did you like it? Share your tips on how to enjoy the Helen, GA Oktoberfest to the fullest!