In Wisconsin, fall is celebrated lavishly with numerous Oktoberfest events that capture the essence of German tradition and culture. From Milwaukee to Chippewa Falls, the following are some of the top Oktoberfest celebrations in Wisconsin.
Sept. 1 to Oct. 8: Milwaukee’s Original Oktoberfest
With over 60 years of tradition at Heidelberg Park, The Bavarian Bierhaus is the go-to destination for Milwaukee‘s Original Oktoberfest festivities in Wisconsin. Throughout September, the haus takes the city’s love for beer festivals to another level with German-inspired gatherings. Join in for an evening (or several) to savor authentic beers, relish German and Bavarian cuisine and get your polka dance on to live music.
Cost: $5 on Fridays, $10 on Saturdays and free admission on Thursdays and Sundays.
For more information: thebavarianbierhaus.com.
Sept. 15 and Sept. 16: Oktoberfest Chippewa Falls
Experience traditional German activities like stein-holding, sauerkraut-eating and keg-rolling at Oktoberfest Chippewa Falls. Running for over two decades, this family-friendly celebration will feature polka dancing, live music, keg tapping, live entertainment, friendly competitions and authentic fare to dig into at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.
Cost: $12 per person.
For more information: gochippewacounty.com.
Sept. 16: Essen Haus Oktoberfest
It comes as no surprise to Wisconsinites that Essen Haus, a favorite Madison-based German restaurant, hosts its own version of an Oktoberfest celebration in Wisconsin on Sept. 16 from noon to 11 p.m. The event boasts live performances by Gary Beal Band, Copper Box and David Austin Band. Guests can also enjoy games, activities, German delicacies, drinks from Essen Haus’ traditional menu and a unique Oktoberfest-inspired burger, the Kaiser Burger (crafted with Swiss cheese, bratwurst medallions, onions, bier cheese and a pretzel roll).
Cost: Free, subject to purchases.
For more information: essen-haus.com.
Sept. 22 and Sept. 23: Hay Days Oktoberfest
Experience the cozy charm of historic Downtown Greendale during its Hay Days Oktoberfest, taking place Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This family-oriented event at Greendale Gazebo Park includes hayrides, games, crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, pony rides and, of course, delectable German beer and fare.
For more information: greendale.org.
Sept. 28 to Sept. 30: Oktoberfest USA
La Crosse’s Oktoberfest USA stands as one of the largest and most renowned Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation. Running since 1961, this event pays tribute to German culture with a rich lineup, including the fan-favorite Maple Leaf parade, keg tapping, craft beer, German cuisine, live music, polka dancing and more.
Cost: $20 per person.
For more information: oktoberfestusa.com.
Sept. 21 to Sept. 24: New Glarus Oktoberfest
Embrace the spirit of America’s Little Switzerland by donning your finest dirndls and lederhosen this fall. Downtown New Glarus comes alive during Oktoberfest with a delightful array of authentic German cuisine, local beer and family-friendly entertainment. From Thursday, Sept. 21, to Sunday, Sept. 24, revel in live music, delectable food, locally brewed beer, wagon rides, chainsaw carving, polka dancing, petting zoos and more.
For more information: swisstown.com.
Oct. 6 to Oct. 8: Milwaukee Oktoberfest
Returning for its 13th year, Milwaukee Oktoberfest will be held in Cathedral Park from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8. As one of Wisconsin’s largest Oktoberfest celebrations, it brings the essence of German culture to the heart of the city. With a biergarten, live entertainment and activities for all ages, this event is a must-visit for anyone seeking the true spirit of Oktoberfest. Highlights include the Miss Oktoberfest competition, stein hoisting, a wiener dog pageant, a cornhole tournament and more.
Cost: The event is free with optional drink packages.
For more information: milwaukeeoktoberfest.com.
Oct. 7 to Oct. 8: Lake Geneva Oktoberfest
Lake Geneva hosts an authentic Oktoberfest celebration in Wisconsin that rivals any seen in Germany. The festivities feature German traditions and endless fun, including a Dachshund race, pie-eating race, beer garden, artisan market, live entertainment, treats and more family-friendly activities. The Oktoberfest event in Wisconsin starts at 11 a.m. each day, ending at 9 p.m. on Oct. 7 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 8.
For more information: downtownlakegeneva.org.