Where to Experience Oktoberfest in New Mexico
While Oktoberfest is widely recognized as a grand (and beer-centric) celebration in Germany, did you know its captivating origin? The festival originated as a continuation of King Louis I’s wedding to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in the year 1810. At this time, it was simply five days of horse races.
The following year, they combined some of the state’s agricultural fair and in 1818, food and drink booths were introduced. Over 100 years later, the beer booths had taken over to become large halls made of plywood and Oktoberfest took its form of what we think of with present day festivities. In Germany, over 2 million gallons of beer is consumed during the two weeks along with parades, games, amusement rides, music, and dancing.
In the states, we love to have our own similar Oktoberfest and with plenty of gemütlichkeit— German for friendliness and good cheer!
The best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in New Mexico:
- Taos Ski Valley
- Ruidoso Oktoberfest at Downshift Brewery
- Los Alamos Oktoberfest at Boese Brew Co.
- Red River Oktoberfest
Taos Ski Valley
Back in 1955, Ernie and Rhoda Blake began building the Taos Ski Valley with a strong emphasis to bring European hospitality to the mountain. This is clearly seen on first impression when you drive up to the base lodges with their architecture. Once you spend some time at the mountain you’ll soon be transported to the Western Alps. Every year in September, the Ski Valley celebrates Oktoberfest with a weekend of German beer, food and an authentic Schuhplatter band! If you’re visiting outside of this time, be sure to check out The Bavarian which is an authentic alpine lodge at the bottom of Lift 4 serving German fare and of course a large selection of German beers.
Ruidoso Oktoberfest at Downshift Brewery
This classic Oktoberfest is slowly becoming an annual tradition in Southern New Mexico. Be sure to stop by for German food, a costume contest, stein hoisting competition, a chicken dance contest, music, and of course German beers on tap! Be sure to stop by for a great one-day celebration perfect for all ages!
Los Alamos Oktoberfest at Boese Brew Co.
With delicious German food and new brews for the celebration this Oktoberfest is also becoming an annual tradition. There will be live music all afternoon and evening, so come enjoy your beer and relax while the children enjoy their own activities. This family-friendly event also has a kid’s bounce obstacle course as well as an interactive STEAM table from Explora Science Center. So, break out those lederhosen and enjoy some brats and pretzels!
Red River Oktoberfest
The longest and largest Oktoberfest celebration in the state is just north of our headquarters in the idyllic Town of Red River. This three-day celebration features multiple local craft breweries take on the delicious traditional Oktoberfest Märzen. Additionally, Red River holds a judged mustache and beard contest, strongest man, as well as crowning of Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest. Kids will have events all weekend long, including log painting, blacksmithing competitions, and a parade. Enjoy the live music and DJs as well as multiple food trucks and booths serving classic German cuisine. Head on over to Bradenburg Park every autumn to be transported off to Deutschland.
Whitewater Rafting in October
Celebrating Oktoberfest in New Mexico is a great option when flights to Europe cost a pretty penny. Whether you’re local or visiting for the fall, don’t forget that we offer New Mexico whitewater rafting through the second week of October! Before or after your Oktoberfest festivities, be sure to come out with us to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery, cooler temperatures, and smaller crowds out on the river. From half-day trips to full-day trips, we’d love to take you out on the river and hear about your Oktoberfest plans!