Oktoberfest: the glorious funfair and beer festival — also known as a volkfest — steeped in the German history of drinking and good times. The season of Oktoberfest in the PNW is in full swing with festivals hosted across the region, many with national notoriety and fame.
Fret not, you do not have to buy a plane ticket to Munich to experience this world-class tradition. From Victoria to Portland and Coeur d’Alene, there is a festival in every section of the Northwest. Here are eight Oktoberfests to check out whilst slugging a stein and shouting “Prost!”
Deutschesfest | Sept. 19-21
Located in the rural town of Odessa, Washington, Deutschesfest is a true homage to the German heritage of Oktoberfest. Filled with authentic German cuisine, Rock Coulee Brewing Co. will provide the beer. Live music will be put on by the local band Oom Pas and Mas. Additionally, the infamous chicken dance will take place along with a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Bend Oktoberfest│Sept. 20-21
A hot spot of beer in Central Oregon, the Bend Oktoberfest donates 100 percent of the proceeds to help maintain the downtown Bend community. But there’s more than just beer at this festival. With a Hammerschlagen competition as well as a yodeling contest, the pinnacle of the event is the weiner dog race. While the overall event is free, beer tokens cost $7 per 14-ounces of beer.
Downtown Coeur d’Alene Oktoberfest│Sept. 20-21
Featuring over 30 beers and ciders, the Downtown Coeur d’Alene Oktoberfest is the go-to visit for anyone in North Idaho. There will be three beer gardens as well as kegs throughout the downtown area. For even more fun, there will be a Gran Fondo bike race on Saturday. And for the kids, there will be root beer! So bring the whole family and experience the excitement of the bustling Coeur d’Alene.
Fremont Oktoberfest│Sept. 20-22
Noted as Seattle’s largest beer festival, Fremont Oktoberfest will host over 100 beers and ciders. With so much happening, from ax throwing to pumpkin carving with chainsaws, the event ends on Sunday, Oct. 22, with Dogtoberfest taking place. Make sure to bring a leash and treats for your furry best friend while you sip your beer. All proceeds will benefit the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit that supports maintaining the public art in the Fremont neighborhood.
Oaks Park Oktoberfest│Sept. 20-22
The Oaks Park Oktoberfest is filled with beer, food and music. Going down within the Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, cooking demonstrations will take place as well as photo booths and roller skating. The beer being served includes Hefeweizen, Oktoberfest-Marzen and many others. With three stages, there will be entertainment throughout the entire weekend.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest | Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12, Oct. 18-19
Leavenworth is perhaps the ultimate spot to celebrate Oktoberfest in Washington. Happening rain or shine in the state’s legitimate Bavarian village, there are three different weekends to take part in Leavenworth Oktoberfest for you to attend. Make sure to attend the Keg Tapping Ceremony that happens every Saturday at 1 p.m., as well as the numerous beer halls and musical acts that are playing the various weekends.
Oktoberfest Vancouver | Oct. 4-Oct. 20
Throughout the month of October, The Vancouver Alpen Club is putting on Oktoberfest Vancouver again this year to already sold-out crowds. Tickets are selling at $35 and include authentic German food and music as well as the stein-holding game. The city’s oldest Oktoberfest festival is ideal excuse for anyone wishing to get away for a weekend.
Oktoberfest | Oct. 19
You will have to board a ferry to attend this Oktoberfest for it is happening in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Put on by the Oaklands Community Association, this festival is a one-day event with tickets including beer from the Hoyne Brewing Co., as well as a traditional Bavarian meal in addition to both traditional and live music. Book your ferry ride soon and take the opportunity to explore the stunning Butchart Gardens just outside of Victoria.