“I felt the vibes here — it’s just crazy,” the beer-soaked 27-year-old tells The Post. “I wanted to top the craziness. Look at this Oktoberfest — I love it. I’m obsessed with it.”
Beginning in 1810 in Munich, Germany, as a celebration of a Bavarian wedding, this autumn festival became an annual tradition, growing in length and revelry. Eventually, the festivities began to kick off a month early, in September, to take advantage of warmer weather and more daylight — the better for drinking outdoors.
Iorlano and his fellow lederbrosen were here to get wild, but New York City has enough Oktoberfest fetes for every taste, from authentic German family events to a booze cruise. A WalletHub study this year ranked the Big Apple the best city in America to celebrate Oktoberfest, thanks to our German restaurants, number of festivals and — let’s face it — New Yorkers’ love of drinking holidays. Here are the best places to say “prost!” this year.
Unless you’re celebrating at the actual Alps, the view from the Watermark Bar on South Street is hard to beat. The pier stretches out into the East River, with the Brooklyn Bridge providing an Instagram-worthy backdrop for photos with roller-skating beer maids and 1-liter glass steins. The vibe here is frat party meets beer hall: The speakers pump pop music, and the pier is packed with games, including pingpong, cornhole and an oversized beer pong played with volleyballs and trash cans. You can soak up some of that German beer with giant pretzels, brat’s and more.
Andrew Freerks, 35, celebrates Oktoberfest every year along with his father, sister and brother-in-law. It may not be as authentic as the fests they’ve attended in Germany, but it’s still a heck of a party.
“Watermark presents OktoberFest,” Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to midnight, through Oct. 20. 78 South St., at Pier 15
Sixty-two years ago, German immigrants took to the streets to hold the first German-American Steuben Parade, honoring their traditions and cultures. It’s since become a huge annual celebration, featuring floats, traditional costumes and more, with organizations from all over the country, led by Miss German America. And cadets representing West Point’s German Language Club will also be marching.
After the parade, the party continues in Central Park for the group’s annual Oktoberfest celebration: Expect music, brat’s and lots of beer.
German-American Steuben Parade, Saturday at noon, Fifth Avenue from 68th to 86th streets. German-American Oktoberfest, Saturday, 1:30 to 7:15 p.m., $35, Central Park’s SummerStage, Fifth Avenue at 69th Street
Bierhaus, the massive beer hall near Grand Central celebrates Oktoberfest all year round, so you know they go big for the actual celebration. It kicks off with a party following the German-American Steuben Parade, featuring a ceremonial keg tapping, live music and giveaways from its German beer, Hofbräu bier, plus polka music and a pig roast. The ceremonial keg tappings continue every Friday through Oct. 25. With plenty of sunshine coming in from the big skylight, it’s not a bad place to drink the day away.
A traditional Oktoberfest involves lots of tents, and you’ll get a proper one at Munich on the East River. This fest re-creates the authentic festival experience with a fully decorated tent outfitted with traditional German furniture, an oompah band, strongman competitions, steins full of German beer and the kind of food — roast chicken, pork shank — that revelers enjoy in Munich. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The staff dressed in dirndls and lederhosen sure do!
Even regular weekends get a little rowdy at Radegast Hall, a spacious beer hall in Williamsburg. The scene is people-dancing-on-tables kind of rowdy, so you can expect it to turn up even more during Oktoberfest. Saturdays through Oct. 5, the bar will host mug-holding competitions (see how long you can keep a full mug up), ceremonial keg tappings, a pig roast and live music.
Before this famous floating lightship’s bar and restaurant closes for the season, it’s holding its sixth annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 29. You’ll find traditional food (bratwurst, schnitzel and more), German beer, live music, a pig roast, costume contests and raffles.
The Frying Pan, Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., Pier 66 in Hudson River Park, 207 12th Ave., at 26th Street
This boat tour combines the best of fall activities: Oktoberfest and leaf peeping. The cruise is a full-on mobile Oktoberfest as it travels up the Hudson River on the way to Bear Mountain State Park, featuring live oompah and polka music, authentic German food, beers and more. At the park, you can take in the changing leaves while taking advantage of more than 50 hiking and biking trails, paddle boats and a museum, or just lounge in the Bear Mountain Inn.
Circle Line’s Bear Mountain Cruise, $52 to $65. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 10, Pier 83 at West 42nd Street.
Industry City will turn its big, outdoor event space into a full beer garden to celebrate the fest. Get in the spirit with German beers and polka music, a performance by the Hungry March Band (on Sept. 29) and keep the party going with raffle prizes and lawn games, including Pass the Pretzel.
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