Cincinnati Family Magazine

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July 21, 2024

Celebrate 30 Years of Oktoberfest with the Donauschwaben Society of Cincinnati

Prost! The truly authentic Donauschwaben Oktoberfest takes place Friday, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2.

Each year in Colerain Township, everyone is willkommen to be German for the weekend. Traditionally, the Donauschwaben Oktoberfest is the only regional Oktoberfest celebration actually held in October. Some would say that this is simply holding true to its name, however, towns in Germany also host Oktoberfests during several fall months, in order to celebrate the harvest, as well as continue to honor the 1810 wedding of the Bavarian King Ludwig I.

The German way of saying, “Goodbye,” to summer and, “Hello,” to fall is to have a festival, enjoy friends and say, “Prost!”; with their favorite German bier. The Oktoberfest at Donauschwaben is nowhere near as vast as in Munich but it does have many of the same traditions and a couple of its own. The family atmosphere that exists is unparalleled!

“Everything we do is so our fest will be the most authentic and true to German, Bavarian, and Schwaben traditions,” states Herr John Hansi Weissman, Chairman of Oktoberfest. “We want this fest to always be a chance for families to have fun together, let the kids play, parents dance, enjoy the music with old friends and new, and enjoy the ‘”Gemütlichkeit.'”

(“Gemütlichkeit” is a German word used to convey the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer.)

The food is the headliner of Donauschwaben’s Oktoberfest. Each year, over 400 chickens are pit roasted and more than 12 pigs, at least four a day, are placed on the spit and turned over hot coals for 24 hours. If you are in the mood for something authentic and want a real treat, the pig’s head will be available for purchase and just happens to be the the most tender meat from the beast – not to mention it is a great head turner and photo opportunity! The Bavarian seasoned chickens are a definite must-have and are always one of the most popular dinners.

Once inside, the Klub Haus has Schwaben Sausage (handmade by our Klub Members) dinners, stuffed cabbage rolls, and Oma’s goulash with Spätzle (homemade German noodles). Of course, there are grilled metts, brats, goetta and more. Do you have a sweet tooth? Visit the back hall for true Bavarian-style pretzels, fluffy cream puffs, layer cakes, Strudel, and more! Every delectable dish, dinner and dessert is prepped and prepared by our very own Omas (grandmas) with recipes passed down from many generations. This is what makes a Donauschwaben Oktoberfest extra special, that loving, family touch.


Every moment of the festival will be filled with live German music blending in harmony with traditional Bavarian dancers. Donauschwaben’s own Schuhplattler, Trachtengruppe (senior group), Jugendgruppe (youth group), and Mittelgruppe (middle group), as well as the Kindergruppe (children’s group), always a fan favorite, will all dance multiple times during the course of the weekend. The music from eight area German-themed bands as well as several bands from across the pond in Germany will also add to the festive atmosphere.             

When you need to walk off some of the delicious food and drink, head in the direction of the entertainment areas such as the Kinderplatz where kids can play games and win prizes, the Fest Tent to test your strength with Stein hoisting, the popular Mug Slide, and the famous “Bavarian” Rat Game. In addition, there will be stands featuring the Stein Guy’s authentic German Steins for sale as well as the merchandise and souvenir tische to commemorate your Donauschwaben Oktoberfest weekend.

A special highlight of this festival is the opportunity to dress like a German. Each year, Donauschwaben members donate their gently-used Trachten (traditional German clothing) to the club for resale at the Trachten Flohmarkt (flea market)! Our purveyor of all things German, travels annually to Germany to shop at the flea markets and second-hand shops to add to our selection. Drink, dance and dress the part in authentic German Huts, Dirndls and Lederhosen this year! Shop generously knowing that ALL proceeds go directly to the Klub.

Sundays are extra visual beginning with the Car Show from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Over 100 antique, collectible and custom cars will be featured on the lawn. Traditionally, nearly half of these automobiles have German heritage and build. This is a must-see for all car-lover!


Last but certainly not least, is the authentic Oktoberfest BIER! In honor of this 30th anniversary of our beloved Donauschwaben Oktoberfest, we will be pouring 30 different types of bier and over 20 of those are directly from the Fatherland. It certainly wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without the great taste of brands you’ve come to know and love including Spaten, Paulaner, Houfbräu and Warsteiner vom Fass (on tap). So get your “stammtisch” on and join us for our 30th anniversary Donauschwaben Oktoberfest! Bring your refillable plastic Stein (mug) or purchase a new commemorative 2022 version and PROST! to fun, family, and Gemütlichkeit – Schwaben-style!

Join us for our 30th Donauschwaben Oktoberfest on September 30, October 1 and October 2 for a whole weekend of being German and part of our Donauschwaben family! Consider joining our Klub! Membership forms will be available. 

Donauschwaben Oktoberfest is located at 4290 Dry Ridge Road Cincinnati, Oh in Colerain Township. Follow us on Facebook: @DSOktoberfest or visit for more information.

Written by, Frau Eva Schott klub member und German teacher at Oak Hills Schools

About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a mom of three with one on the way. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.