Oktoberfest has been an annual tradition around the world since 1810, created to celebrate the marriage between the Prince of Bavaria (King Louis I) to Princess Therese. Now, the festival has become one of the largest celebrations of German history, and Wisconsin is no stranger to the annual celebration. The state is rich in German history and heritage, allowing for some of the best celebratory events in all of the U.S. The following are some of the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Third-Annual Milwaukee Brewing Oktoberfest
Hosted Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, the Milwaukee Brewing Oktoberfest brings live German music performances to the stage, traditional German dishes and an outdoor beer garden to Milwaukee. The brewery’s beer garden will feature a multitude of brews to sample from and purchase; both German and local craft beers will be available. Entry is free. To learn more about Milwaukee Brewing Oktoberfest, visit mkebrewing.com/mkeoktoberfest/.
Essen Haus Oktoberfest
It should be of no surprise to Wisconsinites that Essen Haus, the German restaurant in Madison, will be hosting its own Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 18. The event will feature live performances from German bands Dorf Kapelle, The Gary Beal Band and The Zweifel Brothers. Enjoy games, activities, German eats and drinks, and even a kid’s zone for little ones. To learn more about Essen Haus’ celebration, visit essen-haus.com.
Returning for its 25th year, the Dallas Oktoberfest celebrates with its famous, oversized brats (some of which are up to 175 feet long). The festival will take place on Oct. 2, featuring polka music, polka-style dancing, a farmer’s market, costume contests, dog races and much more. Dallas Oktoberfest is family-friendly, and your little ones are encouraged to attend. For more information on the event, visit valkyriebrewery.com/ofest.
Lake Geneva Oktoberfest
Taking place on Oct. 9 and Oct.10, Lake Geneva is not only celebrating German culture, but also the beginning of fall. This is the 25th year Lake Geneva Oktoberfest has been hosted and will feature arts and crafts booths, sales from local retailers, food trucks and even a hay and pony ride for your little ones. For more information, visit www.harborshoreslg.com..
Kegel’s Inn Milwaukee Oktoberfest
Milwaukee’s own Kegel’s Inn will be hosting its event on Sept. 24 through Sept. 26 with traditional German food made in house, a beer cabinet courtesy of Hofbrau Brewery and live music. In addition, Kegel’s will also host a brat-eating competition, dog race and a Miss Oktoberfest competition at the local spot. For more information, visit www.kegelsinn.com/oktoberfest.
Bavarian Bierhaus Oktoberfest 2021
Celebrating its 60th year, Bavarian Bierhaus is hosting its version of Oktoberfest at Heidelberg Park. The event will begin Sept. 2 and will run Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 3. The celebration features an extensive lineup of live music featuring polka bands, German musicians and more talent to keep an ear out for, German treats and eats, craft beer and the fan-favorite fish fry. To purchase tickets and learn more about Bavarian Bierhaus, visit www.thebavarianbierhaus.com.