Fall is officially upon us in Gainesville. Although that doesn’t mean much in terms of changes in weather, it does mean that one of the largest drinking festivals in the world is here: Oktoberfest. We may be far from Munich, but there’s plenty of places in Gainesville that are throwing their own celebrations for this weeks-long holiday. If you’re looking for something to do in the coming weekends to celebrate, check out these three spots that are throwing their own Oktoberfest events.
World of Beer, located at 3265 SW 34th St., is throwing its first ever Oktoberfest celebration Friday at 7 p.m. Although this World of Beer location just opened this past May, it’s expecting a solid turnout based off of internet traffic.
“We have a lot of interest on Facebook,” product manager Alaina Donato said. “We’re putting it on Twitter, and we have some pre-sale tickets already sold, so we hope it’ll be good.”
World of Beer will have games going on, including a Stein-holding event, Donato said. The place will also have blind beer tastings and a live band. The event’s sponsors, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada, will be in attendance to hand out free goodies. Pre-sale tickets are $25 and will include a T-shirt, a Stein and two Oktoberfest beers.
First Magnitude Oktoberfest
First Magnitude Brewing Company, located at 1220 Veitch St., is unique in the fact that it can brew its own beverages on site. Featuring an indoor area as well as a beer garden, this brewery’s first-ever Oktoberfest celebration is sure to be memorable and will take place Saturday.
“We love hosting events here at the brewery,” event coordinator Lane Abraben said. “Oktoberfest is probably one of the best reasons to host an event, so we figured we’d have some fun with it.”
This celebration, which runs from noon to 10 p.m. and is free to attend, will feature live music, seven different German-style beers and delicious German-style food. This includes Stubbies Pop-Up Sausages, a signature of the former Stubbies & Steins pub located in Gainesville, as well as pretzels from LEJ Pretzel Company, Abraben said. Plus, for those that can’t make it out on Saturday, the food and drink will still be there to try Sunday.
Haile Village Center Oktoberfest
The Haile Village Center, located at 9116 SW 51st Road, is a short drive away from UF and features shops, restaurants, townhouses, apartments and more all in one convenient place. The area also hosts a few large community events throughout the year. In fact, this year’s Oktoberfest celebration will be its 20th so far. It’s taking place Oct. 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Although this event is family-oriented, there will definitely be beer flowing, Haile Village Center manager Rick Madeina said. In addition to the beer, there will be bounce houses, the Cilantro Taco food truck and four restaurants. The Oktoberfest celebration will also feature live music and a special performance of one of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.
“Cameron Dance Studio does ‘Thriller’ with 50 kids out in the street,” Madeina said. “That’s the highlight of it. They’ve been doing that since the beginning.”
Whether you want to try some freshly brewed beers, go to a big party or attend a family-style event in a beautiful outdoor location, there’s an Oktoberfest event for everyone in Gainesville this fall. The weather may not be as crisp as Germany’s this time of year, but we can still pretend we’re celebrating in Munich for a weekend or two.