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Beer, Bratwurst & Bavarian Culture - Cheapflights.com Toasts Oktoberfest Celebrations Worldwide

"Pub"lishes its Top Oktoberfests Outside of Germany

Boston, MA – September 7, 2011 – While Americans bid adieu to the long hot summer days and nights, that’s no reason to give up their enjoyment of a nice cold beer. As the summer comes to a close and temperatures begin to fall, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in publishing travel deals, invites you to raise a pint (or two) and join in the fall season’s most globally celebrated beer festival - Oktoberfest. While Munich, Germany, is the home of the original Oktoberfest and still the host of the biggest event each year, this famous beer festival has spread around the world, and Cheapflights.com offers you its picks for the Top Oktoberfests Outside of Germany. From Ho Chi Minh City to Dublin to Cincinnati, thousands each year are raising their glasses in honor of Oktoberfest.

While the Oktoberfest tradition started in Munich more than 200 years ago to honor the 19th-century matrimony of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, the entire world has since joined in on the celebration. Below are five of Cheapflights.com’s top Oktoberfests to experience outside of Germany over the next few months.

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (Oct. 7-16) - Canadians pull out all the stops for nine days each fall to create the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich. Based in Ontario’s twin cities, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a celebration the entire family can enjoy; the German extravaganza offers more than 40 family and cultural events, including the “World’s Most Dangerous Bocce Ball Tournament.” The celebration culminates at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, a televised spectacle of floats, entertainers and marching bands broadcast across the country.

Hong Kong (Oct. 21-Nov.12) - The thriving expat community in Hong Kong has done a fine job – for 19 years now – of importing lederhosen and sauerkraut for a waterfront Oktoberfest at the beginning of each November, sponsored by the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. This year will be especially festive, as the Marco Polo German Bierfest celebrates its 20th anniversary. Expect three straight weeks of lively debauchery (last year, nearly 40,000 guests crammed into the traditional tent for live music and pork knuckles). The real question isn’t whether or not you should go. It’s “How many 1-liter beer steins can I fit in my suitcase home”?

Blumenau, Brazil (Oct. 6-23) - Though Oktoberfests are celebrated all over Brazil each October, it’s Blumenau’s that provides attendees with a quintessential German aesthetic. In 1850, German immigrants founded the town, situated in Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. And it’s obvious: the German Village (Vila Germânica) in the city center features German-style buildings that take visitors out of Brazil and drop them smack-dab in the middle of Bavaria. And in October, that means Oktoberfest. A reported 700,000 visitors annually flood the town to eat, drink and dance – to an oompah-samba fusion, we assume.

Brisbane, Australia (Oct.7-9 & 14-16) - The upside of opting for Brisbane’s Oktoberfest instead of Munich’s is the former’s spectacular spring weather. And, the sheer joy that comes with vacationing in Queensland, of course. The Aussies do it up right for two weekends each October at Oktoberfest Brisbane, held at the RNA Showgrounds. Reserve a Bavarian VIP Table and invite seven friends (the table seats eight) for an elevated view of the space, a full spread of specialty German dishes, sausages and pretzels, and take-home Oktoberfest beer steins. Bottoms up!

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States (Sept. 17-18) - The United States’ largest Oktoberfest is situated in none other than – Ohio? It’s true, East Coast skeptics: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is a no-nonsense weekend of fantastic beer, food and entertainment. Schnitzel, pretzels and strudel are washed down with 1.6 million ounces of beer annually. Stock up on complimentary souvenir mugs as you sample Spaten, Erdinger and Konig Ludwig beers and stroll along the streets of downtown Cincinnati. In your food coma, make sure to catch the “Running of the Wieners” and the “World’s Largest Chicken Dance” on Sunday at Fountain Square.

Topping up Cheapflights.com’s list of best Oktoberfests outside of Germany are Stockholm’s Beer & Whisky Festival, Sweden (Sept. 29-Oct.1 & Oct.6-8); Oktoberfest Dublin, Ireland (Sept.22-Oct.9); Oktoberfest Denver, Colorado (Sept. 16-18 & 23-25); Oktoberfest Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City (Oct.7-8 & 11-15) and Oktoberfest Namibia in Windhoek (Oct. 28-29).