Thousands come to experience Snowbird's Oktoberfest

Utah's annual Oktoberfest is held at Snowbird Ski Resort. This year, the festivities will occur every Saturday and Sunday from now until Oct. 11. Photos by Blake Bekken

Utah's annual Oktoberfest is held at Snowbird Ski Resort. This year, the festivities will occur every Saturday and Sunday from now until Oct. 11. Photos by Blake Bekken

Utah is in the midst of the annual Oktoberfest.

Every year, people from around the country come to celebrate this event held at Snowbird Ski Resort. They can experience authentic German beer, eat foreign food and take in the surrounding scenery.

Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany in 1810 for the celebration of King Ludwig’s wedding. Each year after, the festivities became more elaborate. Today, the famous festival in Germany brings over 6 million people annually and is the largest fair in the world.

Brian Brown, Snowbird’s communication manager, said, “This is a nationwide event known all over the United States.”

Peter Ferrin, a patron at Snowbird’s event, has been to both Germany’s and Utah’s events.

“Obviously, there are a lot less people here, but everything else is pretty much the same,” he said. “The beer is great, the food is just as good and the scenery is much better. You really get the sense for the German culture.”

Typically, Snowbird has an average of 4,000–6,000 people per day. It opens each year at the beginning of August and ends in the middle of October. This year marks the 43rd annual Oktoberfest held there.

Here is how Snowbird’s event compares to the one in Germany:

Fifty different types of beer are served at Snowbird’s Oktoberfest, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the state. 

Fifty different types of beer are served at Snowbird’s Oktoberfest, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the state. 

Beer

Snowbird’s event carries just above 50 different types of beers.

Although Germany's festival may have more beers, Snowbird still has a numerous amount imported from Germany. Snowbird also brings beers that guests can’t buy anywhere else in Utah.

As for the size of the beer, Snowbird keeps it authentic, giving customers the same size mug they would find in Germany. The price for a beer at Snowbird ranges around $10–$20. In Germany, the price is about $13.

Food

Both events offer a wide selection of food. Brown said Snowbird carries “traditional Oktoberfest food such as bratwursts and amazing chocolate and pastries.”

Along with the traditional Oktoberfest food, Snowbird still has all the regular restaurants open.

“There is a gigantic mix of food,” Brown said. “Whatever you feel hungry for, you will find.”

Attractions

Each event has an emphasis on rides. In Germany, visitors will find a ferris wheel, roller coaster and swings.

At Snowbird, there is the Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide and zip line, as well as the tram and the new “Free Fall,” which mimics a bungee jump.

Although Germany's event has been around much longer and attracts a larger audience, Snowbird’s event isn’t too far off. Thousands of people come each summer to experience Oktoberfest without ever having to leave the country.

Oktoberfest runs every Saturday and Sunday from noon–6:30 p.m. and ends Oct. 11.