Munich’s Frauenkirche, cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Friesing, from BigFoto.com.
If you’re not in Bavaria now, chances are you’re going to have to find a local way to celebrate Munich’s most famous festival, Oktoberfest. Thankfully, Baltimore and the surrounding area provide ample opportunities to eat, drink and be merry – lederhosen included. Here are six Oktoberfest destinations in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that don’t require a passport, or leaving the state. Frankly, you could Oktoberfest each weekend for the next month. (And you can raise that beer mug – or das boot – knowing you’re supporting a local parish.) Prost!
1. Catholic Community of South Baltimore. Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Food, beer, raffle, wheels, music, children’s activities and a silent auction comprise this daylong festival. The hosts are three SoBo churches: Holy Cross, Our Lady of Good Council and St. Mary Star of the Sea. Go for the fun and stay for the 5:30 p.m. Mass. 300 E. Gittings St. between Riverside and Battery Avenues, Baltimore.
2. Church of the Ascension, Halethorpe. Oct. 4, 4-9 p.m. For $30, it’s all-you-can-eat pit beef, turkey and ham, sour beef and dumplings, sauerkraut, bratwurst, salads, coffee, sodas and beers. The night includes German music, games and a raffle. It’s also in the church’s appropriately named Brewer Hall. Call 410-242-2292 for tickets. 4601 Maple Ave., Halethorpe.
3. Prince of Peace, Edgewood. Oct. 4, 7-11 p.m. Food, beer, wine, dancing and raffles are yours for only $15. The event includes the multicultural suggestion of a Chinese auction and Big 9 Wheel. It’s sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Corpus Christi Council No. 6188. Call 443-866-1500 for tickets. 2600 Willoughby Beach Rd., Edgewood.
4. St. Ignatius, Hickory. Oct. 4, 6:30-10:30 p.m. The celebration features a buffet with sauerbraten, dumplings, sauerkraut, sweet red cabbage, bratwurst, German potato salad, rolls and desert. There’s also imported German beer and wine and – for the unflinchingly patriotic – Coors Light (just no BYOB). Baltimore’s TKO Polka Band will make the music. Tickets are $37 and sold out last year. The event is sponsored by the St. Ignatius Holy Name Society. Call 410-879-0390. 533 East Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill.
5. St. Ann, Hagerstown. Oct. 11, 6:30-11 p.m. Just $25 will get you all-you-can-eat brats, beans, Bavarian potato salad and sauerkraut from the Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant, which boasts 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor. Yes, there will be beer and wine, so ages 21 and older, please. Tickets are available at 301-733-0410. 1525 Oak Hill Ave., Hagerstown.
6. St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena. Oct. 18, 6:30-10:30 p.m. The parish’s sixth annual Oktoberfest promises an array of German dishes, including homemade soft pretzels, bratwursts, knockwursts, sauerbraten, roast pork, noodle kugel, potato dumplings, potato pancakes, red cabbage, sauerkraut, desserts and beer, wine and soda. Music by Leon Umberger and the Rheinlanders means there will be polka. Tickets are $30. Call 410-255-4646. 8499 Virginia Ave., Riviera Beach.
Did I miss any parish Oktoberfest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore? Let me know in the comments!