Prost!

Oktoberfest is the real most wonderful time of the year.

October primarily means two things: Halloween and Oktoberfest. Don’t worry; you still have plenty of time to get together that sick Wayne’s World costume. Oktoberfest, on the other hand, is already underway across the Bay area. The holiday originated in Munich after Bavaria’s crown prince Louis (who later became King Louis I of Bavaria) got hitched to his princess, Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Apparently, it was a very nice day for a white wedding and they invited everyone to be part of the celebration, giving birth to Oktoberfest. We remain quite thankful for their nuptials.

King Louis’s party did come back to haunt him when he decreed a tax on beer in 1844, causing five days of beer riots. Luckily, the Oktoberfest tradition lasted longer than the riots, allowing you to take a sip of history at one of the area's many Oktoberfests.

German American Society Oktoberfest As the world-famous Oktoberfest reaches its 202nd anniversary, the local Pinellas celebration is bigger and better than ever. Organized by the German American Society of Pinellas, this event has a reputation for achieving a great turn-out. Enjoy authentic food and brews in an even larger tent than previous years, while listening to authentic German music. Other highlights include a parade and keg-tapping ceremony. $6; Children 12 and younger get in free. Fridays, Saturdays through Oct. 13. German American Society, 8098 66th St N., Pinellas Park. 727-541-6782. germanpinellas.com.

Largo First Friday Oktoberfest Street Festival Food, live music, street performers and art. Free. Fri., Oct. 5, 6 p.m. Clearwater Largo Road South and First Avenue SW, Largo. discoverlargo.com.

Oktoberfest at Honeymoon Island South Beach Pavilion, 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, $4.50. German favorites include Bavarian Pork Schnitzel, Apple Strudel and 16-ounce Oktoberfest Beer. Through Oct. 6. romantichoneymoonisland.com.

Oktoberfest Literstein Heritage Night Litersteins, the traditional one liter glass beer mugs, are required at Dunedin Brewery’s release party for this year’s OktoBEERfest Lager. Bring your own or buy one full of beer at the door for $30, refills $6. Music by Between the Weeds. 8 p.m.-midnight. Litersteins cost $30, plus beer costs. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Thurs., Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. 727-736-0606. dunedinbrewery.com/oktobeerfest.

Oktoberfest Tampa Downtown Tampa’s scenic Curtis Hixon Park will come alive with lederhosen and beer-soaked revelry. Sing along, dance, take part in the Shunkeling, keg toss, stein-holding, carry-the-wench, cornhole and other games. Oct. 12-14. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $8, $20 weekend, $45 VIP. 813-397-8722. oktoberfesttampa.com.

Third Annual Ybor OktoberFest Pub Crawl Stumble and quaff at 17 of Ybor’s patio bars and pubs. Establishments along the way will offer up a mix of German food, music, door prizes and drink specials. Sat., Oct. 6, 4-8 p.m. First 500 guests receive an official pub crawl T-shirt. $25, includes a 4-ounce sample of Oktoberfest or premium beer. Visit ybor.org for tickets or call 813-241-8838 for more information. Registration is at Centro Ybor courtyard. Walk-ups welcome while tickets last.

17th Annual Upper Tampa Bay Oktoberfest Munich-style big tent oom-pah-pah action with authentic German music and dance all weekend, a carnival for the kids, food, arts and crafts. Audience participation games include stein-holding, log-sawing and keg-rolling. Free parking. Oct. 19 -Oct. 21. Tampa Bay Downs, 11225 Race Track Road, Oldsmar. oktoberfesttampabay.com.

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