MIAMI, FL — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, German beer-lovers can still safely celebrate Oktoberfest in the Tampa Bay area. While some major events have been canceled, many businesses and organizers are offering scaled down events with a focus on health and safety precautions. And if you’re not up for a gathering of any size, you can still check out some of the region’s authentic German restaurants for your beer and bratwurst fix. Here are a few events you won’t want to miss.
GIPA’s Spooktacular Oktoberfest Drive Thru
The German International Parents Association has hosted an Oktoberfest event for nearly three decades and won’t let the pandemic stop them. This year, though, GIPA is adapting it by hosting a hybrid drive-through event featuring Halloween and Oktoberfest activities and themes. It will take place Saturday, Oct. 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the German American Social Club, 11919 SW 56th Street, Miami. There will be music, food and beer, of course.
Miami Springs Lions Club Oktoberfest
The Miami Springs Lions Club, located at 301 Swallow Drive, Miami Springs, will host an Oktoberfest dinner Saturday, Oct. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. There is outdoor patio seating, and the band Vintage will perform. It’s free to enter, but a $10 meal includes grilled bratwurst, sauerkraut, red cabbage and German potato salad. Masks are required. All proceeds benefit Lions Club Charities.
Scarlett’s BBQ Oktoberfest
Hosted at Mathew’s Brewing, located at 130 South H Street, Lake Worth, this two-day Oktoberfest event takes place Friday and Saturday. This celebration features German brews (and other drafts), food and live music.
Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery, located at 115 Northwest 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale, hosts an Oktoberfest dinner with all your favorite German dishes Oct 22 through Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. Cost is $24.95.
Enjoy the German culinary experience
If an Oktoberfest gathering isn’t for you this year because you’re avoiding large groups, you can still enjoy German food and beer in the Miami area. Check first to see if these South Florida eateries have changes their hours or services because of the pandemic:
Fritz & Franz Bierhaus, 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables
Bavaria Haus, Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne, Miami
Schnitzel Haus & Pils Bar, 1085 NE 79th Street, Miami
Wunderbar Sports Bar & Grill, 4995 SW 148th Ave., Davie
Old Heidelberg Restaurant, 900 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale
Mainzer’s German Deli, 12113 S Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest
What events have been canceled this year?
Many Oktoberfest events, unfortunately, canceled this year because of the pandemic. To avoid confusion as you make your plans, here's a list of what's been canceled in 2020:
German American Social Club of Hollywood Oktoberfest has been canceled this year, as well as all events through the end of 2020.
Oktoberfest of the Palm Beaches, typically held the second and third weekends in October, has been canceled.
Cape Coral Oktoberfest will not take place this year.
Do you know of an Oktoberfest or German-inspired event you'd like to see included? Email Tiffany.Razzano@Patch.com.