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Oktoberfest by Boat

Post by Amanda Jones - Published on 9/24/19 6:00 PM

The air in New England has gotten crisper for sure, but we still have a month before boats need to be wrapped or headed south! All along the eastern seaboard, boaters can take advantage of beautiful October weekends by exploring new harbors and toasting to a great summer.

Where better to raise a toast than Oktoberfest? We've rounded up some of the festivities taking place all along the east coast – so raid your lazarette for your lederhosen and make your way to a bier tent near you.

A Brief History of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest celebrations, held each year in late September and early October throughout the world, are modeled after the German beer festival that started in Munich in 1810 to promote local Bavarian agriculture. Each year roughly 6 million people participate in Oktoberfests around the world, sampling one of Germany's finest exports and learning about the rowdy side of Germanic culture.


Here are some harbor-town Oktoberfests you can catch throughout October!



On October 11 & 12, the 22th Annual Acadia Oktoberfest takes place at Smuggler's Den Campground in Southwest Harbor, Maine. The weekend kicks off the evening of Friday, October 11, with their 10th Annual Wine Tasting, and continues Saturday afternoon with their 24th Annual Brewfest. There will be lively festivities including everything from keg tossing competitions to stein hoisting, and war canoe races to belt sander races.

  • When: October 11, 4-6 PM, October 12, 12-5 PM

  • Where: Smuggler's Den Campground, 20 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, Maine

  • Where to tie-up: Hinckley Yacht Services Southwest Harbor is a 9-minute drive away.



The 2019 Harpoon Octoberfest takes place October 4 & 5, at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston. Now in its 30th year, this event comes complete with beer (of course), bratwursts, chicken dancing, German chocolate cake-eating contests, oompah music, and hundreds of genuine rowdy Bostonians. Quick aside: To all the beer festivals that offer free non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers like this one does, we salute you.

  • When: Friday, October 4, 5:30-11 PM (doors close 9:30 PM) & Saturday, October 5, 12-7 PM (doors close 5:30 PM)

  • Where: Harpoon Brewery at 306 Northern Ave, Boston, Massachusetts

  • Where to tie up: Harpoon Brewery is a scenic 30-minute walk from Boston Waterboat Marina and India Wharf Marina, along Atlantic Ave and through Boston's shiny and lively Seaport District. 


On October 6, Harpoon will host Harpoon Dogtoberfest from 10:30-4:00 PM as its last event of the Octoberfest Weekend. The brewery is welcoming all dog lovers & their furry friends to join them in celebration. Enjoy a fun-run/walk, costume contests, samples from their favorite dog-friendly brands, food trucks, and Harpoon & UFO beers. 

  • When: Sunday, October 6, 10:30-4 PM

  • Where: Harpoon Brewery at 306 Northern Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 

  • Where to tie up: Harpoon Brewery is a scenic 30-minute walk from Boston Waterboat Marina and India Wharf Marina.


On October 5, New Bedford hosts its 14th annual NB Oktoberfest, a local fundraiser sponsored by the South Coast Business Alliance. This fest features live music, nearly 50 local, seasonal craft brews, as well as sangria, cider & gluten-free beer. The musical line up includes 7 Day Weekend, The Pourmen, Rude Boys and Chops Turner. 

  • When: Saturday, October 5, 3:00 PM-12 AM

  • Where: Pier 3 in Downtown, New Bedford, Massachusetts 

  • Where to tie-up: Pope's Island Marina is a 16-minute walk from State Pier.


The party returns to Massachusetts on Sunday, October 13 for the 41th Annual Oktoberfest Cambridge. This festival in Harvard Square will include the legendary HONK parade. There will also be a Sam Adams Beer garden, 50+ international food vendors, live entertainment, sidewalk vendors, along with family-friend contests and game. If you make your way to it, let us know how it is!

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Rhode Island

Head to Pawtucket, Rhode Island on September 28 and 29 for the German American Cultural Society of Rhode Island Oktoberfest celebration! Join the festivities – complete with German cuisine, music, dancing, and of course, lots of beer.

  • When: Saturday, September 28 from 12-11 PM & Sunday, September 29 from 12-5 PM

  • Where: 78 Carter Ave, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

  • Where to tie-up: Fox Point Marina, about a 17-minute drive away.

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This Saturday, October 19, join the Oktoberfest Pub Crawl through downtown Norwich, Connecticut, an annual event planned by the Norwich Community Development Corporation.

  • When: Saturday, October 19, 6-9:30 PM

  • Where: Downtown Norwich Historic District, Norwich, Connecticut

  • Where to tie-up: The Marina at American Wharf is a 7-minute walk from your first stop on the pub crawl. 


New York

Oktoberfest New York starts up this weekend! Head to New York City for some schnitzel and beer at Watermark NY (Pier 15) in Lower Manhattan.

  • When: The weekends of September 28-29 and October 5-6 & 12-13 & 19-20, from 11-12 AM

  • Where: The Watermark New York at Pier 15, 78 South St, New York, New York 10038

  • Where to tie-up: Liberty Landing Marina and One 15 Brooklyn Marina is a dinghy ride across the Hudson. 


Cruise over to Fishers Island for brats, craft beers, and for non-bier drinkers, a full bar at FIYC on Saturday of Columbus Day Weekend. 

  • When: Saturday, October 12 from 5-8 PM

  • Where: Fishers Island Yacht Club 

  • Where to tie-up: Right there at the yacht club, what's more convenient than that?


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New Jersey

For the next three weekends, head to Wildwood, New Jersey for Morey’s Pier Oktoberfest for beer, brats, pretzels, roller coasters, tilt-a-whirls, live entertainment, and even a "Rootbier" Garden for kids! Adorable.

  • When: The weekends of 27-29 & October 4-6 & 11-13

  • Where: Morey's Piers & Beachfront Water Parks, 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, New Jersey

  • Where to tie-up: Schooner Island Marina in Wildwood is a 30-minute walk, 8-minute drive to Morey's. 

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Maryland loves Oktoberfest so much, they start celebrating it in August. Hats off to you, MD! Flash forward to September 28 for the Das Best Oktoberfest in Baltimore, Maryland. With an attendance of 60,000 strong, more than 150 beers, German food, authentic polka and oompah bands, chicken dancing, contests, and live music from regional bands, this Oktoberfest may put the rest to shame.

  • When: Saturday, September 28, from 2-6 PM (VIP admission begins at 12 PM)

  • Where: M&T Stadium Parking Lot, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Where to tie-up: Anchorage Marina is roughly 18 minutes drive to the stadium. 

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On October 12, head to the 5th Annual Havre de Grace Oktoberfest in Hutchins Park! Enjoy authentic German food while listening to live German music by Smitty's Polka Band.

For the weekends of October 19-20 & October 26-27, head to OC-Toberfest in Ocean City, Maryland! There are so many great events to check out at the festival including, a giant Halloween beach maze, a Great Pumpkin Race, Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, and more. 

  • When: The weekends of October 19-20 & 26-27

  • Where: The beach at Division Street, Ocean City, Maryland

  • Where to tie up: Sunset Marina is a 35-minute walk or an even quicker dinghy ride.



Next Saturday head to Portsmouth, Virginia for their annual Bier Garden Oktoberfest!

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North Carolina

Head on over to WilmingtonNorth Carolina on Saturday, October 5 at 1 PM for the 4th Annual Oktoberfest Under the Bridge at the Waterline Brewing Company! Join in for live music from the Harbor Towne Fest Band, 1liter steins of Waterline Marzen, pretzels, food, games and more! Later in the month, the fun continues with the 16th Annual Wilmington Oktoberfest on Saturday October 19, complete with authentic German food and beer, wiener dog races, live music and kids zone.

  • When: Saturday, October 5 & Saturday, October 19

  • Where: 230 Government Center Dr, Wilmington, North Carolina

  • Where to tie up: Port City Marina is a 15-minute drive away.


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The weekend of October 4 through 5th, grab your lederhosen and celebrate a weekend-long Oktoberfest in Tarpon Springs. Head to Tarpon Springs Fall Fest for authentic German bier, oompa bands, German cuisine, artisans, and more!

  • When: Friday, October 4,  6-11 PM, and Saturday, October 5, 10 AM-11 PM

  • Where: 21 North Safford Avenue, Tarpon Springs, Florida

  • Where to tie-up: Gulf Harbors Yacht Club is an 15-minute drive or cab ride southeast.


Make your way to the 10th annual Oktoberfest Tampa the weekend of October 11th! They tap the kegs Friday, then begin the weekend of beer, food, music, and games – including Oktoberfest Olympiad, keg toss, stein holding, carry the wench and corn hole. (We have high hopes for all of our pirates in the "Carry the Wench" category.)

  • When: October 11, 12, 13. Friday 4-11 PM, Saturday 11-11 PM & Sunday 11-6 PM.  

  • Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, Florida

  • Where to tie-up: Tampa Convention Center Marina is only a 7-minute drive away.


On October 19, in Downtown Tierra Verde, check out the Tierra Verde Oktoberfest community party. There will be lots of beer, food, live music, arts & rafts, and kids' activities. There will also be a market and beer garden.

  • When: Saturday, October 19, 4-9 PM

  • Where: Tierra Verde Downtown Parking Lot, 1110 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, Florida 

  • Where to tie-up: Book a slip nearby at Gulfport Municipal Marina, a 17-minute drive away. 


Last but not least, if you're in the Cape Coral, Florida neighborhood at the end of October, make a point to swing by the 34th Annual Oktoberfest Cape Coral on the weekends of October 18-20 and 25-27. Hosted by the German-American Social Club of Cape Coral, this party boasts an outdoor biergarten with three stages and two dance floors, live music throughout the weekend, German beer, sausage platters, bratwurst, schweinhaxen, potato pancakes, crafts, and a carnival area for kids with rides and games. There are also hand made crafts for purchase from the vendors and exhibitors.

  • When: October 18-20 & October 25-27

  • Where: 2101 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, Florida

  • Where to tie up: Safe Harbor Cape Harbour is about 15 minutes away by car. 

Happy Biering!


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Headed to one of the events listed above? Let us know in our Facebook Group! Tell us what you liked, what you didn't like, or simply post a picture of the awesome time you & your crew had. 

Post by Amanda Jones

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