Oktoberfest's unofficial mascot and Vail local, Helmut Fricker.

Lederhosen, handlebar mustaches, accordions, and polka-ing around the Maypole are all fair game for Vail and Beaver Creek’s weekends-long Oktoberfest celebrations. And in ski villages modeled after European sister resorts (and colonized by Austrian and German expats like Pepi and Sheika Gramshammer and Helmut Fricker), it’s no surprise that locals get down with the Bavarian theme. In Vail, aside from bragging rights (and indigestion) awarded to the winner of the brat-eating contest, the most coveted prize is a 1-liter commemorative stein ($35), a keepsake that changes year to year but is always in season whenever it’s time to prost.

Where/When it is:

Lionshead Village, Sept 7–9; Vail Village, Sept 14–16; Beaver Creek Village, Sept 1–2

What it costs:

Free

Who goes there:

Lederhosen-clad locals and stein-wielding Front Rangers

More info:

beavercreek.com; vailoktoberfest.com

If you want to feel like King Ludwig for a day ...

If you’d rather not rub beer bellies with hordes of pilsner-guzzling Vail Oktoberfesters, reserve the “Friday Afternoon Club” VIP Experience, which includes a private table for eight, commemorative steins for the whole party (good for two fills), and plenty of bratwursts and pretzels to go around ($800 per table).

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