Story originally appeared on FoodCary.
Cary, NC – Oktoberfest is well-celebrated nationwide and the Triangle Oktoberfest is one of the largest in the United States. And now, with Oktoberfest in Booth Amphitheater for the second year, it is set to keep growing bigger and bigger.
What’s New This Year
This year, Triangle Oktoberfest is Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24. This has changed since 2015 when it was on Saturday and Sunday and the event’s Burgermeister Randy Bossé said now people can start right after work on Friday.
“It will also have extended hours so we’ll have more time,” Bossé said. Both days, Oktoberfest goes until 11 PM, starting at 6 PM on Friday and 1 PM on Saturday.
One of the other changes will be turning the event into what Bossé called “rock-toberfest.”
“Last year, we just had one German band but this time we’ll have multiple local rock bands with good followings to play too,” Bossé said.
The Triangle Oktoberfest is put on by two Rotary Clubs, Apex Sunrise and Cary-MacGregor, as well as the Town of Cary. The event is also connected to other charity-driven events the clubs put on. Bossé said when the Rotary Clubs initially said they wanted to put on an Oktoberfest, they got support from the Town of Cary not only because there was such a large German population in the area but because of the clubs’ track records with various harvest and pig festivals.
“When we came up with the idea to have an Oktoberfest, in 10 minutes we had four domains registered and we knew were were going to do it,” Bossé said.
When Bossé and the Rotary Clubs put the event together, he said they were focused on doing it right.
“We try to make it authentic and classic,” he said. “We’re not making it a beer slog-fest.”
And not only is Triangle Oktoberfest a big event for Cary, it’s a big event for the country.
“There isn’t anything to this degree around. It’ll be one of the largest on the East Coast,” he said.
Bossé said part of the reason is how large the region’s German population is. In recent years, there have been a lot of people moving down from the North, including many from Pennsylvania, New York and Nebraska where there are many German immigrants.
“Cary is home to 67 different cultures and we have a lot of Germany-based companies,” he said. “In fact, North Carolina has the most Germany-based companies of any state.”
Mixed into the event will be many representations of German culture, from the music to activities such as Hammerschlagen to German food and beer.
“You can’t have this event without having the best beer and food to go with it,” he said. “Last year, people from Bavaria would come up to me and say the felt like they were back home.”
Koka Booth Amphitheater, 8003 Regency Pkwy.
Friday, September 23, 2016 – 6 to 11 PM
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 1 to 11 PM
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Triangle Oktoberfest and Hal Goodtree.