Prost and Polka: A guide to Oktoberfest in Savannah

Updated October 4, 2023 at 5:18 p.m.

Don your Lederhosen and raise your stein because Oktoberfest is officially upon us. Here in the Hostess City, our to-go cups runneth over, and so this German celebration of beer is very on brand. Oktoberfest is an invitation to drink and be merry, and the opportunities to do just that all around town are plentiful. Beyond the imbibing, Oktoberfest is also a great way to learn more about German culture, and there are a few entertaining events on the horizon that will expose you to German folkways. Join the community in celebrating Oktoberfest by attending these fun festivities.

Plant Riverside District Oktoberfest Celebration

Head to Plant Riverside District Oct. 4 - 28 for the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the city. Now in its third year, this Oktoberfest takes place on the Savannah waterfront, featuring an exciting array of events and experiences. It all kicks off on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. with a free outdoor concert from the Uni-Big Band Halle at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Hailing from Halle, Germany, the Uni-Big Band comprises 28 performers who will bring their unique blend of classic big-band jazz and contemporary pop to the Savannah riverfront stage. 

Following on Saturday, Oct. 7, Plant Riverside District will host the 2023 Savannah Wiener Dog Races in partnership with Savannah’s Waterfront. The races will start at 11 a.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and are open to Dachshunds and “almost Weiner dogs.” The grand prize includes a $100 gift credit to Electric Moon’s Yappy Hour and a special trophy that every canine is sure to covet. 

“We’re thrilled that Plant Riverside District will be the new home for the Savannah Wiener Dog Races and that this exciting tradition is returning to River Street,” said Julie Musselman, executive director of Savannah’s Waterfront. “It’s such a fun tradition and an ideal way for local residents and visitors to celebrate Oktoberfest in Savannah.” 

Oktoberfest at Plant Riverside District also includes a range of free German-themed activities taking place every Saturday through Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. Savannah’s own German band The Rhinelanders will perform live polka at 1 p.m. and a series of friendly competitions will follow; prizes will be awarded. 

In addition to all the activities, festival goers can enjoy specialty beers like Southern Barrel Helles Lager, Yuengling Oktoberfest and Commonhouse Wise One Hefeweizen along with authentic German food at Plant Riverside District’s sundry restaurants.

“We’re thrilled to host Savannah’s biggest and best Oktoberfest event,” said Richard C. Kessler, chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection. “We warmly invite everyone to head down to Plant Riverside District to enjoy incredible live music, authentic German food and family-friendly fun.”

Visit plantriverside.com/venues/oktoberfest-at-plant-riverside-district/ for more information. 

The Big Band from Halle Tybee Performance

If you miss the Uni-Big Band’s Plant Riverside District performance, don’t fret. You’ll have another chance to see them live in concert on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. on the Tybee Island Pier. The performance follows German American Day, which is observed on Oct. 6. Presented by the Teutonic Council of Savannah and the Chatham County Commission, this concert is a product of the relationships fostered between Savannah and Halle, Germany, over several years. 

“Deepening Savannah’s relationship with Halle, Germany has been rich and rewarding on many levels,” said James N. Anderson, Ph.D., Vice President of the Teutonic Council of Savannah, who helped develop the original partner city relationship between the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses of Georgia Southern University. “We’re delighted to bring such a talented big band to

Tybee Island for an unforgettable performance in honor of German American Day.”

This performance is free and open to the public. For more details, visit teutoniccouncilsavannah.org/events

Oktoberfest at Local Restaurants

Some restaurants are observing Oktoberfest by offering special menu items for the fall festival. Savor a taste of Germany at Crystal Beer Parlor. Now through Oct. 29, patrons can enjoy authentic Deutschland dishes like Rindergulasch and Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut. They also have dessert options. Be sure to wash it all down with an ice cold bier. 

Visit crystalbeerparlor.com/oktoberfest-menu/ for the full menu. 

Every Monday - Thursday through Oct. 26, The Melting Pot is hosting their Oktober FondueFest. Savor a three or four-course meal featuring Bavarian beer cheese fondue served with bratwurst and braised short rib, which pair perfectly with a glass of German wine. End on a sweet note with their German chocolate fondue. 

Find more details at meltingpot.com/savannah-ga/oktober-fondue-fest-menu

Published October 3, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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