Ever since the first U.S. Oktoberfest was held in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1961, Americans have taken to celebrating this German holiday with as much fervor as the Fourth of July. In Colorado alone, there are dozens of Bavarian bashes—so many that it might be a bit dizzying to discern which one to attend. Here, we break down the fetes based on their best attributes, from competitive games to Wild West-infused shenanigans.

Denver Oktoberfest

Best for: All around revelry

If you’ve ever attended Denver’s 53-year-old signature two-weekend event, we probably don’t need to sell it to you. But for newbies, let us mention the downright adorable dachshund races, Jägermeister-sponsored beer hall, and bountiful food vendors (turkey legs, bratwurst, and pretzels abound). In between sips from your stein, make sure to catch the live polka performances, singalongs, and late-night silent disco. If all that beer has you feeling brawny, sign up for the stein-hoisting competition or keg bowling. Spring for a VIP ticket to get 2 free Jäger shots; unlimited beer and wine; a private bar and restroom, which you’ll need after all that free-flowing lager; and German-style bites. Sept. 22–24 & Sept. 29–Oct. 1; free general admission, VIP starts at $85

Vail Oktoberfest

Best for: Those with a competitive streak 

Don’t we all feel a little more limitless after a pint—or four? The organizers of this high-altitude fest know that imbibement and competition go hand-in-hand. So, down a kolsch or two before signing up for the stein-lifting, keg-bowling, and bratwurst-eating contests (actually, maybe stick to water before the brat battle). Less-competitive revelers can enjoy an all-day lineup of music from the German-inspired Polkanauts to a Tom Petty tribute from the Shakedown Family Band; traditional dance performances; and a bevy of Bavarian delicacies. Sept. 8–10 & Sept. 15–17; times vary; free

Wild West Oktoberfest

Best for: A Western crossover 

Munich, Germany—the site of the OG Oktoberfest—might not have a ton in common with Golden, but one thing is certain: both locales love their beer. At this Wild-West-meets-Bavaria blowout, there will be plenty of suds (courtesy of Coors and AC Golden Brewing Co.), plus both Colorado and German flairs, like mechanical bull-riding and stein-holding contests; a yodeling championship; grub from well-loved local haunts including Arvada’s Rheinlander Bakery and Seasoned Swine in Golden; and a performance from the dance group Denver Kickers Schuhplattlers. Sept. 23; noon–10 p.m.; $25

Breckenridge Oktoberfest

Best for: A cool, commemorative stein 

It’s not hard to understand why the limited-edition steins offered annually at this party are a hot commodity. They boast a sharp logo, they’re sustainable, and they make sipping a fall-themed brew feel even more festive. These half-liter keepsakes sell-out onsite so preorder your vessel online for the best deal. Then, come drinking day, fill up your cup with Breckenridge Brewery’s Oktoberfest lager and stroll down Main Street, where traditional performers, food vendors, and musicians will bring das party. Sept. 15–17; times vary; free attendance

Loveland Oktoberfest

Best for: A small-town feel

This town’s fall fete is a small-but-mighty ode to German tradition. Berlin Kraft will serve up authentic German cuisine (think: schnitzel, doner fries, potato salad, and sausage), a well-rounded lineup of bands will provide the soundtrack (Polka Folka, Wayne Appelhans and the Dutch Hops, and more), and rafts of rousing contests (stein-hoisting, beer relay, and best-dressed) will provide ample entertainment. Sept. 15–16; Fri. 4–10 p.m.; Sat. noon–10 p.m.; free

Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest Celebration

Best for: the cutest sideshow entertainment 

While there’s plenty to draw you to this German jubilee—generous pours of Munich-made Paulaner beer, live polka and rock music, kid-focused activities, and a feast of Bavarian eats—the real stars of the show are the four-legged athletes participating in the most cutthroat competition of the day: the Dachshund races. Get a front-row seat as pups from the German breed race to cross the finish line first and vie for the coveted best-dressed prize. Sept. 16; 1–9 p.m.; free

Colorado Springs Oktoberfest

Best for: Non-beer drinkers 

For the gluten-free and beer-averse, Oktoberfest can be a minefield. Luckily, Colorado Springs’ gathering has plenty of options for sans-gluten sippers. In addition to German-style wine, cocktail, and seltzer offerings, the fest offers curated tasting experiences for German wines and liquors (Schnapps, anyone?). Don’t miss the sideshows including a yodeling contest, lederhosen and dirndl costume competition, relay races, performances, and food vendors. Sept. 29–Oct. 1; times vary; free

Castle Rock Oktoberfest

Best for: A robust local beer lineup 

Germans may have been brewing beer for a few centuries longer than Coloradans, but we like to think we’ve just about caught up. The dozens of Centennial State breweries at this party further prove our point: Hopheads can opt for pints from purveyors like Odell Brewing Co., Great Divide Brewing Co., and Wild Blue Yonder. While you toss back your tripel, tune into performances from Austrian Connection and Castle Rock Dance Academy and nosh on eats from Koco Street Food and Mac N’ Noodles. Sept. 16; 1-9 p.m.; free

Honorable Mentions

Steamboat Oktoberwest, Sept.16; 2–6 p.m.; $30-$85
A-Basin Oktoberfest in the Mountains, Sept. 23–24; 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; $35
Greeley Oktobrewfest, Sept. 29–30; Fri. 5–10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; free
Montrose Oktoberfest, Sept. 30; 1–5 p.m.; $35-$45