Oktoberfest is held by the German Aid Society of Chicago in Lake Villa, in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, for three Saturday nights, starting on Sept. 22, 2012. The event, being held rain or shine, takes place on Sept. 22, Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, starting at 6:30 p.m.
The festival is held on the grounds of the American Aid Society for German Descendants at 259 W. Grand Avenue (Route 132) in Lake Villa, Illinois. Admission to Oktoberfest is $8 at the door. Dress warmly, because there is a fall chill in the air and the celebration is held in an open sided building. The hall has murals of German scenes on the wall and is lined with tables.
Most of the tables are reserved by German groups in advance, so even though the hall is large, seating inside can be hard to come by. There is a bar area and and also a seating area outdoors, near the main food serving booth.
Hearty German food is served, on styrofoam plates, through a window. Food choices include: brats, Thuringer sausages, pork loin dinners and sandwiches and more. For dessert they offer apple and cherry strudels.
Beer flows plentifully, but is not the only alcoholic libation available. For the adventurous, try a Fiegling (fig) liquor or a Jaegermeister shot. Just be careful of the quantity, as the small shots do add up to a potent alcoholic punch. Wine is also available by the plastic cup.
In the center of the room the attention turns to music and dancing. Austrian Express plays on Sept. 22. Phenix plays on Sept 29 and Oct. 6.
The festival offers fun and entertainment featuring German music, dancers, food, beer, wine and German Gemuetlichkeit.
Oktoberfest originated as a wedding ceremony for Bavarian royalty in Munich, Germany. The festival was so popular with the townspeople that the royal family continued the tradition and it evolved into the celebration of food and beer that it is today. The 200th anniversary Oktoberfest was celebrated in Munich, Germany in 2010. The large German festival has spurred smaller festivals of German culture in towns and cities populated by Germans and German immigrants.
Since the celebration includes drinking, partiers should consider a designated driver for safer travel. There are no hotels in Lake Villa itself, although there is a Best Western in nearby Antioch and there are several hotels in Gurnee.
Oktoberfest an authentic Bavarian celebration in Milwaukee
Classic boat show at The Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva