Once a year, Germany reminds the world that its penchant for fine automobiles, supermodels and efficiency is matched only by its passion for sud-soaked polka revelry. Rock the brat with this Valley Oktoberfest planner.
Get gussied up German-style with lederhosen and dirndls at Easley’s Fun Shop (509 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, 602-271-9146, easleys.com), which stocks costumes for rent and sale ($24-$67). Fräuleins can also accessorize with campy beer mug purses ($15-$18).
Haus Murphy’s (5739 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-939-2480, hausmurphys.com) will celebrate its 15th annual Oktoberfest by flying in The Guggenbach-Buam band all the way from Heidelberg (Oct. 12-14 and Oct. 19-21, $6-$10) while offering their usual blitzkrieg of wursts, schnitzels and draft beers. For a modern take on classic German dishes, Brat Haus (3622 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-4006, brathausaz.com) offers everything from brined pork chops to apple strudel in a traditional biergarten.
Load your larder with handcrafted bratwurst and schnitzel from the German Sausage Company (4900 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-840-6032, germansausageaz.com), where you can also stock up on imported German pickles, pretzel rolls, condiments and candy.
Go double Deutsch at Phoenix Oktoberfest (Oct. 5-6) at Margaret T. Hance Park (200 E. Moreland St., Phoenix, phoenixoktoberfest.com). Lovebirds can become Herr und Frau by entering to win Oktoberfest nuptials, a nod to the festival’s origin as a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Bavaria in October 1810. Admission costs $5 for adults; kinder 12 and younger get in free. Tempe Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-350-8625, tempeoktoberfest.com) is a free-entry fete complete with beer and wine gardens, a carnival, a 5K run/walk, dachshund races and more than a dozen live musical and dance acts, from traditional polka to local jazz and blues tunesmiths. Join the freude Oct. 12-14 before saying auf wiedersehen until next year.
Don’t be a polka pariah. Learn how to play an instrument with some oompah-pah at Ziggie’s Music (3309 N. Third St., Phoenix, 602-266-9622, ziggiesmusic.com). Known as the Valley’s accordion emporium, with new and used squeezeboxes for sale, Ziggie’s also offers lessons from accordion pros ($15 per half hour) and hosts an accordion club the third Monday of every month.