Prost! Oktoberfest!

After more than 200 years, Oktoberfest celebrations continue to give folks an excuse to come together with friends and family for good beer and good times. Though the tradition first started in 1810 in Munich, Bavaria, as a two-week-long wedding festival for the crown prince, within a few years it was established as an extended regional celebration with a variety of food and drink tents and plenty of entertainment. Eventually, immigrants from all over would bring beer to America, but the Germans brought Oktoberfest. 

This year, Bath Gardens is having its own, inaugural, two-day celebration on Sept. 29-30. Organized by Magnolia Lane’s Polished Events and sponsored by Savannah River Brewing Co. (SRBC), this family-friendly event is sure to become as iconic to Georgia as the original in Bavaria. Built in the 1960s, Bath Garden’s Austrian-style architecture provides the ideal backdrop with spring-fed ponds and sculpted landscapes surrounded by natural forests, transporting visitors back to the early 19th century.

The event will feature live German music being heard across the hillside. An outdoor market with souvenirs and competitions like steinholding, keg rolls, beer pong on the lawn and costume and yodeling contests are sure to keep the whole family entertained. Kids get in free, but a kid zone wristband can be purchased for access to face painting, arts and crafts, a free mini pretzel and kid-sized games and competitions.

More than 15 food trucks will be present. Villa Europa’s Villa Wagen food truck will serve its well-known, authentic German food. Bavarian and German imports like Spaten and Franziskaner beers as well as Augusta’s very own Uncle Festbier from Savannah River Brewing Co. will be available alongside familiar domestics like Michelob Ultra and Yuengling. 

Festivities start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday when the gates open, followed by the Prost (the official opening tradition of keg tapping) and live music with Laurentz und die Katzen. Saturday’s full schedule starts at noon with last call for beer at 8 p.m. “It’s really the first thing of its kind in the area,” says Brian Ertter of SRBC. With Blythe being less than a half hour from downtown Augusta, it’s easy to experience the Germanfest without having to fly halfway across the world.

“We’re trying to keep it as authentic as we can,” says Kelly Hilley, Event Manager at Magnolia Lane’s Polished Events. “We’d like to grow and add things each year, but we have a pretty good start.”

General admission tickets are available for one, two or both days. And VIP tickets include transportation on the property, reserved space in the covered pavilion and even some free beer. With over 2,000 people expected this year, Oktoberfest at Bath Gardens is sure to grow in popularity. So, unpack the lederhosen, practice holding that stein and get ready to enjoy a beautiful time in scenic garden surroundings.

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE

Oktoberfest photo by Jane Kortright.

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