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This weekend, a little bit of the old country will come to South Florida when Oakland Park Main Street celebrates the eighth Annual Authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest at Jaco Pastorius Park.

More than 10,000 people are expected to converge on Oakland Park for two days of authentic German food and entertainment as the scents of sausages and schnitzel and the sounds of oom-pah bands fill the air.

According to Siegi Constantine, executive director of Oakland Park Main Street and a native of Stuttgart, Germany, the festival is the largest celebration in Broward County and attracts locals as well as members of South Florida’s large German expatriate community, estimated at more than 250,000.

“Everything is completely authentic,” said Constantine, who dresses in her traditional dirndl for the weekend. “There is no other Oktoberfest in South Florida like ours in Oakland Park.”

Hans Huber, the second-generation owner of The Ambry German-American Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, closed his restaurant this week so he and his staff could prepare more than 1000 lbs. of sausages, 500 lbs. of potato salad and hundreds of apple strudels for the food tent.

The Tucher Oktoberfest beer that will be served was imported from Germany and is not yet available for retail sale in the United States. The beer is brewed from a secret family recipe and is similar to the beer served at the first Oktoberfest, a royal wedding celebration held in 1810 outside the city gates of Munich, Bavaria.

Over the years, Oktoberfest evolved to include agricultural displays and carnival booths. Today, the celebration attracts millions and is one of the largest festivals in the world.

While on a much smaller scale, the Oakland Park Oktoberfest also offers plenty of entertainment, including performances by the famed German band Alpine Express, locally-made crafts, carnival rides, stein and beer barrel races, a vintage Volkswagen auto show and one of the most popular events, the dachshund races.

Constantine also emphasized the festival would not be successful without the generous support from many sponsors, including this year’s presenting sponsors, Lipton Toyota and Broward Health Imperial Point.

Proceeds will support Oakland Park Main Street’s community programs to promote the city’s business district and help create a sense of community in downtown Oakland Park. The organization sponsors concerts, food truck round-ups, outdoor movies and many other events throughout the year.

If you go

Oakland Park Oktoberfest


Friday, Oct. 5, 5 – 11 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 1 – 11 p.m.Where:
Jaco Pastorius Park, 4000 N. Dixie Hwy.
Oakland Park, FL 33334

How Much:

$5 donation at the gate, Onsite parking $10
Ample free parking nearby, Free shuttle