The season of fall is one of the most anticipated in the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a number of reasons – cool temperatures, changing leaves, crackling fires, and arts and crafts shows, just to name a few! The Smoky Mountains love the season of autumn, incorporating harvest themes everywhere from restaurants’ seasonal dishes to decorations around the downtown Parkway. In fact, the town’s only skiing destination celebrates the season the authentic German way, putting on an OktOBERfest to remember!
You have heard of the celebration in Germany – the 16-day festival that dates back to the early 1800s. This celebration of Bavarian culture was originally hosted to honor the marriage of Bavarian Prince Ludwig, but was later adapted to incorporate agriculture, breweries, and traditional food from the area. Now, the traditional Oktoberfest draws in more than six million people, serving almost seven million liters of beer!
Most of us won’t get the chance to board a plane and fly to Munich to take part in this traditional event; luckily there is much more local celebration that is within one day’s drive of one third of the United States! Ober Gatlinburg in the heart of the Smoky Mountains hosts an annual OktOBERfest celebration, complete with German songs, dance, food, and of course, beer! From September 26 to November 4, head up the mountain to enjoy this 5th annual, always spectacular event!
Throughout the month of October, Ober Gatlinburg will be hosting the Bavarian Fun Makers Band, dressed in authentic Bavarian clothing. The group will perform traditional, historical Bavarian yodels, dances, and sing-alongs, delighting the crowd with their enthusiasm for their performances! The Bavarian Fun Makers Band will offer shows at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Visiting during the week? No problem! The group also performs at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday!
Of course, no OktOBERfest is complete without food and drink. Ober Gatlinburg features authentic Bavarian food that appeals to all palates, even if you are new to the world of Oktoberfest! Start with their jumbo pretzels served with cheese or brat and sauerkraut balls – deep fried and served with multigrain mustard. If you’re coming for lunch, try the Frikadelle – a combo of beef, pork, and German bratwurst grilled and served on pretzel bread. Their entrees are certainly not lackluster, featuring traditional German meatloaf, cabbage rolls, smoked pork loin, and schnitzel served with a side of German potato salad. These hearty meals will certainly warm your belly and leave you feeling satisfied!
You won’t want to miss the OktOBERfest beers! These seasonal brews are reminiscent of the authentic beer brewed in Germany, including specialty beer from Blackhorse, Saw Works, Paulaner, and Sam Adams. Enjoy the outdoor Bier Garten Thursday through Sunday with live entertainment. Ober will also be serving up German-style wines, and attendees can enjoy free games such as ladder ball, corn hole, and children’s games. There is something for everyone at OktOBERfest!
After the food, drink, and games, Ober Gatlinburg has plenty of entertainment for you and your family. View Smoky Mountain animals at their Wildlife Exhibit, ride the scenic chairlift, or try out the exciting Alpine Slide. Prepare for some fun at Ober Gatlinburg’s indoor ice skating rink or play with the kids at their impressive arcade!
Visit their website for more information about OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg.