The Oktoberfest is so popular that it is even celebrated on the other side of the globe. With these tips, your Oktoberfest theme party will be a success even at short notice!
Why do Australians travel to the other side of the world every year and pay 6.2 million people the unearthly high prices for a measure of golden festival beer in 2017? Because Oktoberfest is because the world’s most famous and popular folk festival takes the hearts of Japanese, Italians and immigrant Saupreißn (like me) by storm: despite crowds, despite inflated prices – anyone who has ever been to Oktoberfest knows it. It’s a hell of a party, the atmosphere is something very special: at the same time very cosy and those who want to party also get their money’s worth.
A Oktoberfest theme party can be organised quickly, even at short notice – in contrast to almost all theme parties, the organisation and preparation is quick. Whether it’s a small party with friends or a large celebration – with this theme party, the number of guests is not decisive for the party atmosphere and a good time!
Oktoberfest is a great choice for a theme party from late summer to autumn. You can still sit comfortably outside – in the marquee it’s still possible in October – there are crispy oven-fresh pretzels, homemade Obazda and good humour in abundance. Still not 100% sure whether an Oktoberfest theme party is the right one? Abenteuer Freundschaft has plenty of inspiration on the Motoparty Themes List with 111 very different ideas for legendary theme parties!
Okay, the theme is set – but where, how and when will your Oktoberfest theme party take place? As it can often rain and be chilly in late summer and autumn, it is advisable to set up a marquee in the garden or courtyard. Pavilions are the cheapest and cost as little as €19. Besides the weather, the number of guests and planning with your budget is important.
An authentic Oktoberfest theme party should definitely take place outside – ideally at the local meadow! If you’re celebrating indoors, you should definitely go for hearty decorations – the Hofbräuhaus in Munich is a good inspiration!
Food and drink are uncomplicated and delicious at this theme party – but Bavarian food is not so easy to buy everywhere in Germany! In Berlin, for example, Leberkäs is hard to come by (but at Oktoberfest time, many supermarkets have Oktoberfest specials) – Obazda is a good idea to make yourself and pre-order pretzels.
You live near Munich? At the Hofbräuhaus there’s a cardboard display of a couple dressed in traditional costume, with their heads poking through holes for photos. Take a photo, stick it on white and blue check paper (it can even be a tablecloth!), write the information on the back and you’re done.
More complicated to make but really beautiful is a self-designed gingerbread heart as an invitation. You need brown paper, cut out two hearts and glue them together all around to make a pocket. Then paint the heart all around with a border, write “O’zapft is!” in white cursive in the middle and decorate it with a few stylised icing flowers, pretzels or stars.
Pro tip: For a small Oktoberfest theme party, you can also create real gingerbread hearts with icing as invitations and send them out! Complete sets are available at amazon*, for example.
Blue and white and rustic is the order of the day! For an Oktoberfest theme party, you can make many compromises – but beer tent furniture is a must-have! Even if you put it in the living room and do without a marquee. This includes a blue and white (the typical colours of the Free State of Bavaria) or neutral white tablecloth if you’re getting any other Oktoberfest theme party decorations in blue and white. And beer mugs are also indispensable – paper plates are perfectly adequate.
A few tips for inexpensive decorations that can quickly conjure up an Oktoberfest atmosphere on amazon: Decorative wreaths, lanterns, pennants and garlands in blue and white, Seppel hats made of grey felt, gingerbread hearts as table decorations to crunch on.
Make your own Oktoberfest tree and put it in front of the marquee or in the room! Simply take a broomstick, hang self-made signs on it, put garland around it and you’re done.
In Munich, young women are out and about in dirndls all year round – and they look really pretty! The triumph of the Oktoberfest goes hand in hand with the triumph of the dirndl – and the tailors have brought the once staid traditional costume out of obscurity with many pretty new models. Where in Germany do so many young people still proudly wear traditional costume and look super pretty and sexy in it?
For long-haired girls, it’s worth browsing for hairstyles on the internet: at the real meadows, there are braided works of art to marvel at every year and many hairstyles can be easily copied.
Leather trousers, checked shirt and traditional stockings – that’s the outfit that most men wear at the Oktoberfest. Just like the Dirndl, many wardrobes now contain a few pairs of lederhosen again, while a hat with a chamois beard is worn by men even in Munich, the stronghold of the Bavarian traditional costume boom, especially at Oktoberfest time.
Fun fact: In fact, it is not only Bavarian girls who find a handsome boy in lederhosen really sexy, Japanese women’s hearts also reportedly beat faster!
Super cute idea as entertainment for children, teenagers and adults: lay out a few gingerbread hearts on a beer bench with ribbons to hang them around and sugar paint to design them. Sets with everything you need for this can be purchased, for example, at amazon.
At the real Oktoberfest, there’s the Oide Wiesn with Hau den Lukas, tin can throwing and pretty old carousels. If there are several children at your Oktoberfest themed party, it’s worth offering a beer bench for can tossing – perhaps with a little competition where the winner gets a small prize or the loser has to sing along loudly to a karaoke version of a Wiesn hit. If there’s enough time, collect tins beforehand and paint them blue and white and turn the tins table into a beautiful decoration.
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This typical Bavarian game is a mystery to many girls. What’s so great about hammering nails into wooden benches with as few blows as possible? The fact is: guys line up in droves to take part in this masculine proof of their manhood and prove who swings the hammer best.
Two participants always compete against each other. One stands on the left and one on the right at the end of the beam. Each tries to hammer either one or 5 to 10 nails into the beam with as few blows as possible. The one who needs fewer strokes is the winner.
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Bavarian hearty food usually means with meat – but there are also super snacks for vegetarians to offer. For small parties, you can prepare something in advance in the oven – or order fresh Leberkäs from the butcher and bake it at home. Serve with potato salad.
With pretzels, homemade Obazda and herb butter, Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes) with apple sauce and savoury biscuits – after which you long for the second pint of beer at the latest.
The main drink is clear: the best thing to do is to get a good brewery in the neighbourhood and get a keg of beer that is freshly tapped. A glass of Schnaps after the meal is also typically Bavarian. For children, you can offer malt beer or “fake” beer – for example, apple juice spritzer. And a few alternatives such as sparkling wine, wine, cola and non-alcoholic drinks that are not typically Bavarian but which some guests like to drink as an alternative to beer.
A modern party with brass music, preferably from a real brass band in traditional costume? Okay, that’s only something for die-hard folk festival fans. As at all folk festivals, the currently popular Schlager and Ballermann hits have conquered the marquees at the Wiesn. Many DJs have this music in their portfolio anyway – or you can create a playlist yourself on Youtube.
Discover even more original ideas for Homecoming together! Find ideas for gifts and tips for activities with friends, kids and partner for every day and every occasion on the Leisure Ideas Portal. Check it out!
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Image source Cover photo: Oktoberfest 2011 by SteFou! at CC BY 2.0.
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