Octoberfest in Niagara FallsOctober 1, 2018

Break out the bratwurst! Pass the schnitzel!

On the October 5-6 weekend, everyone will be German in Niagara Falls, if only for two days. New for this year's event - no admission charge. It's all free.

Organizers of Oktoberfest 2018 in Niagara Falls are promising "two days of everything German." So prost!

All events are being held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on Stanley Avenue, right in the heart of the city's tourism district. 

They run Friday, October 5 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., then pick up again on the Saturday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., leaving lots of time to see the rest of the sights around the city like the casinos, wineries, maybe take a ride on the Hornblower cruises that take you to the base of the falls, or roam the streets around Clifton Hill.

There will be a long menu list of beers available to sample - remember, this is a German get-together - including fare from local brewers like the Niagara Brewing Co., Brimstone Brewing Co. and The Exchange Brewery.

They all go well with those giant pretzels, so take your pick.

The food menu includes staples of traditional German fare, like pork and chicken schnitzel, beer-braised Oktoberfest sausage with sides of German potato salad, red cabbage and sauerkraut. 

Local performers will bring the German, too - listen to the Happy Wanderers and the Niagara Button Boxers, or sit back and enjoy the Narragonia Dancers kick up with traditional German moves. Or you can rock out to Revive the Rose, a Welland band.

Just to mix it up, there will be demonstrations by the Backyard Axe Throwing League. Don't worry, they'll throw the axes before they even think of sampling some of the German beer.

Oktoberfest isn't for the whole family, though. It's a 19+ event.

"Our goal is to provide attendees with an authentic Oktoberfest experience, and offering free admission is in line with what organizers in Munich do each year," organizer Chris Dabrowski recently told the Niagara Falls Review.

Last year's event drew about 3,000 visitors, but that was with an admission charge. This year's free event may well top that mark.

The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, to commemorate the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig (he later became king) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hidburghausen.

Germany's Oktoberfest is considered to be the world's largest beer festival, and it is celebrated around the world. It's a great excuse to kick back, relax with German beer and food while enjoying a trip to Niagara Falls!

Learn more about Niagara Falls Oktoberfest.

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