For the competitors, the Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen Championship Weekend in New York City is an experience like none other. As fun as it is, it can also be a little stressful with all of the events scheduled, especially trying to stay focused on the day of the competition. To help make things a little easier, we put together a little map of the key locations that you'll need to be able to find as a competitor or guest of a competitor. There are only a handful of locations, but they're key spots to know about.
It's not a bad idea to bookmark this page, but we also made this map to be mobile-responsive, so if you have the Google Maps app on your phone and you tap the map below from your phone, it should open Google Maps with these locations tagged as you see here. You can find your location relative to them and then get where you need to go. The Google Maps app will remember this particular map too, if you tap the three-bar equal sign thing at the left of the search bar, go to Your Places then Maps and there should be a link to the map there which you can tap to get these pins back on your map. So you can do it in advance to prep for the weekend and the link will stay there until you delete it.
Also- if you haven't looked at the Central Park SummerStage Oktoberfest venue rules, now is a good time to check them out to make sure you know what you're allowed to bring into the festival with you. For example, factory sealed water bottles are allowed; professional cameras, selfie sticks, bags over 16" tall x 16" wide x 8" deep in size, among other things, are NOT allowed. Check out the full list included in the link above to make sure you don't run into problems with security.
Below the map, we added some other basic schedule info to help you know where you should be and when.
When you arrive in New York on Friday afternoon, your first stop will probably be the Belvedere Hotel. This is the little house icon on the map. You can get yourself checked in and settled, and relax a little bit before the evening festivities if you have time. When you check in, you'll receive a gift bag which includes your Central Park admission tickets/wristbands and Hofbräu t-shirts that you and your guest will need to wear for all official events (Bierhaus NYC reception, Parade Float, and the SummerStage Oktoberfest described below). Don't forget to stay hydrated!
Friday night there will be a VIP reception with drinks and snacks for the competitors and their guest at Hofbräu Bierhaus NYC (the beer stein icon on the map). Wear your wristbands to this event! This goes from 5:00 - 7:00pm or so and after that you're free to do whatever you want in the city, but eventually you'll want to make your way back to the Belvedere Hotel. Both of these locations are on the map above.
On Saturday morning, the competitors will need to make there way from the hotel over to the parade staging area at East 69th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue for an 11:00am check in time. Here you will get further instructions. Make sure you're wearing your wristband and your Hofbräu t-shirt! Don't be late or people will get mad at you. This is your opportunity to see if the other competitors are hungover, and continue the all-important trash talk and other such pre-competition mind-games. Then you'll get on the Hofbräu USA Masskrugstemmen float and wave your way up Fifth Avenue. The parade goes on until around 3:00pm, but as a competitor you'll only be on the float for about an hour to 90 minutes. At the end of the parade route, you'll find yourself near the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 85th Street, just north of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum is probably a nice place to check out but this is no time for arts or culture because today there's beer, sausage, and Steinholding victory to be had. So start heading back down the parade route on Fifth Avenue along the edge of Central Park. Both the pre-parade starting point and the approximate parade ending point are shown on the map with little walking/hiking person icons.
When you get down to East 72nd Street, turn into the Park and stay to the left when the road splits and you'll basically be there. And you'll probably be just in time too, because at 1:15pm, the gates of Rumsey Playfield/SummerStage will open up like the gates of heaven to welcome you to German-American Oktoberfest NYC! This is marked on the map with a star icon. The festival goes from 1:15pm - 6:30pm, and at 4:00pm promptly, the Masskrugstemmen National Championship begins! The women's competition is usually first, followed by a brief equipment reset and then the men's competition! We'll be streaming both competitions live from the U.S. Steinholding Association Facebook Page and the U.S. Steinholding Instagram Feed to bring you all of the action! We'll be posting pictures, videos and updates of the fun throughout the day as well, so stay tuned.
Once the competition is over and the last call has been called and everybody gets thrown out of the Oktoberfest grounds at 6:30pm, the party moves back over to Hofbräu Bierhaus NYC for the Oktoberfest After-Party! It's a long but satisfying and manageable walk from the Park to the Bierhaus if you want to sober up a little bit or a short Uber/taxi ride if you want to stay a little drunk, but either way, get there by 8:00pm because that's when the ceremonial Oktoberfest keg tapping happens! Everybody lucky enough to be present at that time gets a free round of Hofbräu Oktoberfest. We'll be there to celebrate with some more beer and grab some awesome food, so come join us. We recommend making a reservation on the Bierhaus website (linked above) because it's a popular spot and this is a pretty sweet event. Tell 'em U.S. Steinholding sent you and they'll probably say something like "Uh...what? Ok."
We hope you have a great Hofbräu Championship weekend and we can't wait to see you along the way!