Oktoberfest is a 16 to 18 day folk festival in Munich, Germany where over six million attendees from all over the world come together to partake in an important part of Bavarian culture. Festival goers of all ages go on rides, play games, eat a variety of traditional foods and of course drink an impressive amount of festival bier. Oktoberfest celebrations have popped up all over the country and Oregon is home to some of the best of them (we may be biased!). Contrary to its name, Oktoberfest parties occur mainly in September and locally, there’s nearly one a weekend for the entire month — and most are family friendly. Here are four celebrations that up the fun factor so the whole familie can say, Prost! together.
photo: scottwwwwwww via flickr
Mt. Angel Oktoberfest
Grab your lederhosen, kinder, and an appetite and head to Mount Angel, Oregon. The cozy community was settled by German pioneers in the 1800s and reminds one of the rich Bavarian countryside. In its 52nd year, Oregon’s largest folk festival attracts more than 400,000 people and features the music, food, dress, and beverages of Bavaria. Highlights of this celebration of German culture include alpine folk music, Bavarian bands, and, of course, lots of dancing. New to the festival this year are three new bands, two new food booths, beers, wines and activities (kindergarteners will have acrobats this year!).
5 Garfield Street
Mt. Angel, Or
Pricing: $5 – $30
Open: Thurs. – Sat., 11 am – midnight; Sunday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
photo: Beverly Michaelis via flickr
As one of the biggest (and arguably best) spots for beer and activities it’s no surprise Bend hosts an annual Oktoberfest. The celebration not only features delicious beers from local breweries, but they will have The Bend Oktoberfest Games for silly prizes, a wiener dog race, and more. All servings are pint pours of beer, so you’ll need to grab your official Bend Oktoberfest stein to enjoy yours. After you’ve eaten and drank your fill, work off some of that schnitzel by doing the chicken dance to the sounds of Oompah music. We recommend kids go visit the bouncy houses before they eat their schnitzel.
Insider Tip: Find a babysitter if you plan on heading over to the ‘fest after 5 p.m. on Friday or Saturday; attendees must be 21 and over for the evening activities.
photo: Mathew Peoples via flickr
Oaks Amusement Park Oktoberfest
Performers, activities and brews–oh my! Oaks Amusement Park Oktoberfest is Portland’s premier family-friendly German festival, with authentic food and beverages, live music and dancing (the Kinderplatz have their own gig awesomely called the Red Shoe Rocktoberfest). Family fun activities in the main festhalle include a pretzel toss, condiment art, Oktoberfest bear hug, the region’s best craft and import vendors, wiener dog races, agility dog demonstrations, and even authentic cooking demonstrations. Visit the Kinderplatz kids area for awesome activities, including crafts, a Chicken Dance party, and the Radio Disney Rocktoberfest.
Sept. 22 – 24
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Pricing: 16-61 years old $6, 15 & younger $3, 62 & older $4
Open: Fri., 4 p.m. – midnight; Sat., 11 a.m. – midnight; Sun, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (rides have their own hours)
photo: inspirator via pixabay
All about German bier, food and tradition this iconic bar located off of Mississippi Street is a great spot in the city to celebrate Oktoberfest. Their biggest party of the year, Prost!’s festival kicks off Friday night with a ceremonial keg tapping at 7 p.m. Get there early to get your hands on their (limited) 2016 Oktoberfest Liter Steins. Saturday and Sunday they take the party outside. The entire Marketplace, with extra biers available on tap outside, German BBQ on a charcoal grill, games, a face painter and more!
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2
4237 N Mississippi Ave
Pricing: free admittance
Open: Fri., 7 p.m. keg tapping, Sat., 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (party moves inside), Sun. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (party moves inside), (minors allowed until 8 p.m.)
Do you know of any other Oktoberfest events happening in Oregon? Leave us a comment below and let us know where other families can grab their Lederhosens and dirndls and get their oompah dancin’ on.
— Kris Wilhelmy