Jerry and Bonny Miller, of Rockville, dance to polka music during Oktoberfest festivities at the Frederick fairgrounds.

Late each September, the Frederick Fairgrounds say “Willkommen” to the traditional German celebration of Oktoberfest.

Lederhosen and schnitzel are the order of the day, as the fairgrounds turns into a Bavarian wonderland, all the better to celebrate Frederick's German heritage.

On Friday, the events open with a keg tapping, and the annual Oktoberfest Games. Friday also features $5 specials on select food and drinks.

Saturday features indoor or outdoor beer offerings, including local names such as Flying Dog and Brewer's Alley, and such traditional German offerings as bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut, and Bavarian pretzels.

The fairgrounds' Fest Hall is transformed into a traditional German beer hall, while a sports tent, food and drink areas, a picnic area, a German heritage area, and a kids' play area are also available.

The festival offers free admission to anyone coming in traditional German clothing, which usually means lederhosen for men, or a dirndl – a German dress – for women.

There are a variety of bands playing traditional German music, and lively dancers to go along with it.

There are also lessons in the German heritage area, on topics such as how to make sauerkraut, led by local experts.

Some of the attendees are either German natives or have lived in Germany for parts of their lives, while others are looking to get a glimpse into another culture or just looking for some good beer.

The experience of a Frederick Oktoberfest will leave you sad to say auf wiedersehen for another year.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(1) comment

The Grape of Wrath

There's a reason they call it square dancing.

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