The 185th Munich Oktoberfest will not kick off until Sept. 22, but here on Long Island the fun will start this weekend.

T.J. Finley’s in Bay Shore will hold its 11th annual Oktoberfest party this Saturday, Sept. 15 from 3 to 9 p.m. The first 300 guests will receive a free stein with their first beer and if you buy a ticket in advance you also get a Bavarian pretzel. The party will feature a stein holding contest, German music and food, and Oktoberfest beers from German breweries and local craft breweries including Blue Point Brewing.

Plattduetsche Park in Franklin Square, voted Bethpage Best of LI’s Best German restaurant for the past six years, will hold its annual Ompahfest on Sunday, Sept. 16 from noon to 9 p.m. The festival, held in the enormous Plattduetsche Biergarten, is always held the day after the Steuben Parade in Manhattan and features music from bands that march in the parade, including many direct from Germany and Austria. Plenty of Oktoberfest beer will be served with authentic German food.

Oktoberfest celebrations will continue across Long Island throughout September and October, including several at local German restaurants. Das Biergarten, a German restaurant and beer garden in Long Beach, will celebrate Oktoberfest on two weekends, Sept. 22 and 23, and Sept. 29 and 30, with a festival tent, live music and traditional German food and beer. Black Forest Brew Haus, a German brewpub in Farmingdale, will celebrate Oktoberfest with live German bands for four weekends beginning on Sept. 28 and 29 and running through Oct. 19 and 20.

On Sept. 29 and 30, the Mansion at Glen Cove will hold its 4th annual Oktoberfest featuring live German music and dancing, a stein holding contest and traditional German food. On Sunday there will also be a competition for ‘Best Dressed’ Oktoberfest costume and special family activities for kids.

The Rotary Club of the Moriches will hold its 10th annual Oktoberfest celebration at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches on Sept. 28 to 30. The festival will feature traditional German music, food and beer and similar to the Munich Oktoberfest will have carnival rides for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, a summer camp for children with disabilities.

The Baldwin Civic Association will hold its 2nd annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 29 at the Community Gardens in Baldwin. The festival will include German food, games, craft vendors and beer from local craft breweries.

For a less traditional take on Oktoberfest, check out Punktoberfest on Oct. 13 at Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore. This annual festival celebrates the best of fall beers from Great South Bay and other local craft breweries, along with brats and other German food from local restaurants, accompanied by music from local punk rock bands.

For a complete listing of Oktoberfest events on Long Island visit LIBeerGuide.com/li-oktoberfest

Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.

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